Federal agencies must inform employers whether they’ll have to turn worker pay data over to the government by April 3, Judge Tanya S. Chutkan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said March 19.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s deadline for collecting annual workforce surveys is currently May 31, and employers have questioned whether the agency will be able to collect the new pay data before that cut-off. Chutkan asked the same question, noting that her ruling...