"It's that time of year again when gender activists claim women are discriminated against en masse by employers and paid less than men as a result," writes Ashe Schow this morning.

Yes, today is "Equal Pay Day," the feminist holiday when activists publicize the gender wage gap and attribute it to discrimination. As we do every year, we urge you to get the facts on the wage gap. The gap almost disappears when you factor in the choices women make (college major, time off from the workforce, etc.).

But this is a special Equal Pay Day because, as Diana Furchtgott-Roth notes in today's Wall Street Journal, the "pay equity police" are receiving some "new ammunition." Employers will soon have to report on employers by 14 gender, race or ethnicity categories within 12 pay groups:

Feminists have something new to celebrate on April 12 this year. That’s the date they have dubbed “Equal Pay Day,” when they claim that women’s earnings have finally caught up to men’s earnings from the year before. Each April activists hold demonstrations and call on Congress to pass the misguided Paycheck Fairness Act.

The legislation would, among other things, require the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to collect wage data from firms “by the sex, race, and national origin of employees.” First proposed in 1997, the bill has no chance of passage. So now President Obama is doing an end run around Congress to give the feminists what they want.

The EEOC is manipulating the obscure Paperwork Reduction Act for its exact opposite purpose. Right now employers are annually required to complete a form, called an EEO-1, with 140 data points. The commission’s plan is to change the form, beginning next year, to encompass 3,360 data points. Public comments on the new form were due April 1, and the EEOC is expected to issue its final decision this summer, pending approval from the Office of Management and Budget.

This would put an enormous compliance burden on businesses. Companies with 100 or more workers would be required to report on employees by 14 different gender/race/ethnicity groups, within 12 pay bands and 10 occupational categories. The companies will also have to report the number of hours worked per employee—even for salaried staff, whose hours now are not normally tracked. Firms with multiple locations will have to complete such forms for each branch with more than 50 employees, meaning an establishment with 10 offices could find itself juggling 33,600 data points.

. . .

When the Obama administration decides to collect countless thousands of new data points, it has a purpose in mind. Not much imagination is required to see that the plan here is to give Washington new powers to police the workforce. Let’s hope the Office of Management and Budget will refuse to approve the new form. Do you want the leaders of “Equal Pay Day” demonstrations to be running your business next year?