Ready or not, reporting season is right around the corner. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that the 2022 EEO-Component 1 data collection will open on Tuesday, October 31, 2023, and the deadline for employers to file is Tuesday, December 5, 2023. In completing the EEO-1, all covered private employers and federal contractors have a mandatory legal obligation to submit and certify their workforce demographic data. Failure to do so may result in the EEOC seeking court-ordered compliance or, for federal contractors, the termination of existing contracts or debarment.
Employers are required to file the EEO-1 Report if they meet any of the following criteria:
- Private sector employers that are subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and have 100 or more employees
- Employers subject to Title VII with fewer than 100 employees, if the employer owns, is owned by, and/or is affiliated with another employer and together they employ 100 or more employees or
- Federal contractors with 50 or more employees that meet certain criteria, including those with a contract worth at least at least $50,000
Data to Collect
In order to complete the EEO-1 Report, covered employers and federal contractors are required to provide the EEOC with a workforce demographic snapshot. To prepare the snapshot, employers must count and submit the number of individuals they employ, by job category and by sex and race or ethnicity.
The EEOC has specified that for race and/or ethnicity reporting, employers must use the following classifications: Hispanic or Latino; White; Black or African American; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; Asian; American Indian or Alaska Native; and Two or More Races. Currently, for reporting by sex, the EEOC only provides binary options for reporting (i.e., male or female). However, employers may voluntarily choose to report employee demographic data for non-binary employees in the "comments" section of the report.
Finally, for job category reporting, the EEOC provides the following ten (10) categories:
- Executive/Senior Level Officials and Managers (i.e., CEOs, COOs, presidents)
- First/Mid-Level Officials and Manages (i.e., vice presidents, directors, treasures)
- Professionals (i.e., accountants, architects, designers, engineers, registered nurses)
- Technicians (i.e., drafters, emergency medical technicians, chemical technicians)
- Sales Workers (i.e., advertising sales agents, real estate sales agents, retail salespersons)
- Administrative Support Workers (i.e., bookkeepers, accounting clerks, general office clerks)
- Craft Workers (i.e., carpenters, electricians, painters, plumbers, automotive mechanics)
- Operatives (i.e., laundry and dry-cleaning workers, bakers, butchers)
- Laborers and Helpers (i.e., construction laborers, refuse collectors, vehicle cleaners)
- Service Worker (i.e., cooks, food service workers, hairdressers, janitors)
Best Practices for Collecting Employee Data
The EEOC has indicated that voluntary self-identification is the preferred method for identifying race and/or ethnicity. In the event that an employee declines to self-identify their race and/or ethnicity, the EEOC has stated that employment records may be used to determine such information. If an employer maintains records containing employee demographic information, those records should be maintained confidentially, and kept and stored separately from the employee's basic personnel file or other records available to those responsible for personnel decisions.
Finally, when collecting data for the EEO-1 Report, employers should also be aware that a handful of states (including California and Illinois) have adopted state-law equivalents of the federal EEO-1 Report, also requiring the collection and reporting of certain employee demographic data to state agencies. If you or your company have any questions about completing the EEO-1 Report, or how to collect employee demographic data while reducing legal risk and reputational harm, please contact the authors of this article or any attorney in Venable's Labor and Employment Group.