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Prepare for changes in reporting race on EEO-1 form

by on
in Employment Law,Human Resources

Issue: EEOC's revamped EEO-1 form could add new burdens on your compliance paperwork.

Risk: You can be fined for "willful" noncompliance.

Action: Acquaint yourself with the new rules so you'll be ready to collect the right data in 2004.

Expect more headaches (and questions from employees) when trying to complete your EEO-1 form next year.

Reason: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is proposing changes to the government form, including increasing the number of race and ethnic categories, plus the number of job categories.

Private employers with 100 or more workers and some federal government contractors with 50 or more employees are required to annually file the EEO-1, the Employer Information Report. The form calls for you to break down your work force by sex, race, ethnicity and job category.

Proposed change 1: Increase the number of racial and ethnic classifications from five to seven and allow employees to designate themselves as "Two or more races, not Hispanic or Latino."

EEOC encourages employers to rely on self-identification (letting employees check a box on a survey) to obtain this information. But post-employment records or observer identification may also be used. Because this self-identification process adds a new requirement for some employers, EEOC's proposal includes some model language that employers can use.

Proposed change 2: Increase the number of job categories by splitting the category of "officials and managers" into three levels: executive/senior-level officials and managers; mid-level officials and managers; and lower-level officials and managers.

To view a sample of the new form and for more details, visit www.eeoc.gov/eeo1/. You can submit comments on the proposals until Aug. 11. The changes will likely take effect sometime in 2004.

Note: To file your 2003 EEO-1 form online, go to www.eeoc.gov/eeo1survey/.

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