Employment Law -- Employer

Using the EEOC's EEO-1 Report on Workplace Diversity

Federal, state, and local governments promote equal employment opportunities (EEO) in the United States. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency leading that charge. One of the EEOC’s methods of fulfilling its EEO mandate is the collecting and reporting of EEO data. The EEO-1 report is the agency’s primary tool for gathering race and gender data from the country’s employers.

This page gives a broad overview of the EEO-1 report. It links to more detailed articles that can help you answer specific questions. Consult an employment attorney in a city near you for answers to your questions about the EEO-1 report. An experienced employment lawyer can help you fill out an EEO-1 for your business and explain how to file it with the EEOC.

What Does Equal Employment Opportunity Mean?

Equal employment opportunity is the idea that people should have the same opportunities in employment. Employers shouldn’t use criteria unrelated to the job to make employment decisions. Instead, EEO requires that employers make decisions based on the employee’s qualifications.

The EEOC oversees EEO for most U.S. employers including the following:

  • Most private employers
  • State and local governments
  • Employment agencies
  • Labor organizations
  • Education institutions

The EEOC enforces EEO through laws and regulations making it illegal for an employer to discriminate against applicants or employees because they belong to a protected group. Currently, the EEOC’s mandate protects people from being discriminated against because of their:

  • Race or skin color
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation)
  • National origin
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Genetic information

What Is the EEO-1 Report?

The EEO-1 Component 1 Report (EEO-1) is an annual report of workforce demographic data that most U.S. employers must file. The report is also known as the Employer Information Report or Standard Form 100. The EEO-1 is confidential, but the EEOC publishes compiled data. Employers must report race/national origin and gender data for their employees.

The EEOC uses this data to aid in enforcement and research employment trends across the country. Employers can also benefit from collecting the data so they have insight into the diversity of their own workforce.

Filers can submit their EEO-1 data through the EEOC’s online filing system. The due date for the report can vary by year. It’s essential to check the EEOC’s Data Collection website for EEO-1 submission dates.

The EEOC website has a sample of the EEO-1 report. The agency also publishes an EEO-1 Component 1 Data Collection Instruction Booklet to assist companies in submitting their EEO-1 data.

Gathering Data To Report on the EEO-1

You may not be comfortable requesting race and gender information from an applicant or employee because you are afraid of an employment discrimination complaint. So, how can the employer get accurate data for the EEO-1 while protecting everyone’s rights? Most employers ask new hires to self-identify during the onboarding process.

For example, an employer can use a tear-off sheet to separate the application from the applicant’s race and gender information. Then HR will give the person in charge of hiring the application but not the demographic data.

But what can the employer do if an employee fails to fill out the self-identification form? Many employers hesitate to force applicants or employees to fill out these forms. To keep employers from having to resort to such drastic tactics, the EEOC allows employers to use their best judgment based on visual identification to classify someone.

What Employers Have To Submit an Annual EEO-1?

Not all employers have to file an EEO-1. The following employers must file the report:

  • Private employers that are subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with 100 or more employees
  • Private employers with fewer than 100 employees that are owned by, affiliated with, or controlled by another company so that the group is a single enterprise with 100 or more employees
  • Federal contractors who are prime contractors or first-tier subcontractors with 50 or more employees and either have a contract, subcontract, or purchase order of $50,000 or more; serve as a depository of government funds; or are a financial institution issuing and paying agents for U.S. Savings Bonds and savings notes

Multisite employers must also file an EEO-1 Type 2 report that includes all company employees, an EEO-1 Type 3 report on the employees at the company’s headquarters, a separate EEO-1 Type 4 report on each site with 50 or more employees, and a separate EEO-1 Type 8 report on each site with fewer than 50 employees.

Employees who work at a client site are a gray area in EEO-1 reporting. Some employers report each client site as a separate establishment. Others roll the offsite employees up into their headquarters report. The EEOC currently accepts either approach. Remote workers belong on the EEO-1 report of the location they report to.

Penalty for Not Filing an EEO-1 or Filing a False EEO-1

There’s no direct penalty, such as a fine, for not filing an EEO-1. But the law mandates that certain employers file the report. So, the EEOC can get a federal court to order a company to comply. The court could hold an employer defying a court order in contempt. It could also lead to the loss of government contracts.

The EEOC also checks the EEO-1 when an employee files a discrimination complaint. A company that doesn’t file an EEO-1 can lose credibility in the EEOC’s eyes during an investigation.

Filing a false EEO-1 report, however, could lead to a fine, imprisonment for one to five years, or both.

Contact an Experienced Employment Law Attorney

From knowing which reports to file to how to classify specific jobs, filing an EEO-1 is complicated. If you need help, contact an employment attorney in a city near you. An experienced employment lawyer can advise you about the EEO-1 reporting requirements and help you meet the filing deadline.

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