In an effort to monitor employment of minorities and females in the work force, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires certain employers to complete and file an Employer Information Report, commonly called an EEO-1 report, by Sept. 30 each year.
That mandate falls on any private employer with 100 or more employees, plus federal prime contractors (or first tier subcontractors) that have 50 or more employees and a contract worth $50,000 or more. Certain employers are exempt from the requirement, specifically religious organizations and firms that are essential to national security.
Employers completing the EEO-1 report must provide a count of employees by job category, ethnicity, race and gender. Individual employer data submitted to the EEOC is confidential. Only aggregated data that wouldn't reveal a specific employer's identity is released.
Federal contractors must also complete the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) EO survey that requests more detailed data than the EEO-1. But the EO survey days may be numbered. That's because the OFCCP has proposed scrapping the EO survey and relying solely on the new, redesigned EEO-1.
The EEOC has introduced a revised version of the EEO-1 form for the 2007 survey. The new EEO-1 is more complex than the old, and according to some critics, less precise.
The form adds a new category, "two or more races," to the section where employers must list employees' ethnic and racial categories. The old Asian or Pacific Islander category has been split into Asian and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. Also, Black will now become Black or African-American, and Hispanic becomes Hispanic or Latino.
The EEOC and OFCCP strongly suggest that you allow employees to self-identify their race, as opposed to you making your own judgments.
Both employers and minorities have expressed misgivings over the two-or-more-races category, claiming the category is less precise than identifying an employee as belonging to one particular group.
In the job categories section, the old officials and managers category will be split into two categories: executive/ senior-level officials and managers and first/midlevel officials and managers.
Under the new EEO-1, business and financial occupations move from the officials and managers category to the professionals category.
Tip: Make yourself aware of the changes coming to the EEO-1 next year by reading a Q&A fact sheet at www.eeoc.gov/eeo1/qanda.html.
How to comply
First, remember that you should NOT use the new EEO-1 this year. That fact can be a bit confusing on the EEOC Web site.
The new form is be used for 2007 filing, which is due on Sept. 30, 2007. To complete your 2006 EEO-1, you should still use the old form, which you can file electronically through the EEOC's Web site at www.eeoc.gov/eeo1survey.
Some key compliance points:
- You can use employee counts from any pay period during the third quarter of the calendar year.
- Employment data must include all full-time and part-time employees from whom you withhold Social Security taxes.
- Leased employees must be reported on the employment agency's EEO-1.
Employers can earn a waiver from having to file the EEO-1 if they can claim the paperwork constitutes an undue burden. You must make this request in writing to EEOC. However, your request must provide an alternative method for collecting the same data.
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