United States: The EEO-1 Aftermath: The Filing Extension And Employers' Common Mistakes

Last Updated: June 8 2018
Article by James A. Patton

The filing deadline for employers to submit their 2017 EEO-1 reports was June 1, 2018—moved back from the original deadline of March 31, 2018. Employers may have used that extra time to double-check data and ensure they avoided common filing errors. This article answers some frequently asked questions about the filing extension and explores common EEO-1 mistakes.

Why might the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have extended the filing deadline for 2017 EEO-1 reports?

This extension may have been related to a backlog of processing requests for spinoffs, mergers, and acquisitions. These requests must be manually processed by the EEOC before affected companies can finalize their EEO-1 reports, and the processing of many of these requests was delayed. Due to these delays, many companies were unable to input their data and certify their EEO-1 filings. 

The EEOC says that "[i]ncluding a closed establishment while filing" is a common filing mistake. What is a closed establishment, and why is the inclusion of a closed establishment problematic for the EEOC?

A closed establishment is an establishment where the company no longer does business. If a closed establishment is included in an EEO-1 filing, this is an indicator that the company may not have reviewed its data closely before filing, which contradicts the statements made when certifying EEO-1 filings. A practical problem is that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) relies on EEO-1 filings to conduct audits of government contractors. If a closed establishment is selected for an OFCCP audit on the basis of a current EEO-1 filing, then the company will likely be in a difficult position before the audit even begins. 

The EEOC also says that employers sometimes erroneously exclude the Type 6 report numbers from the consolidated report. What are Type 6 records, and why might the data from these reports be excluded from the consolidated report?

Type 6 reports are used for establishments that have fewer than 50 employees. Type 6 reports are simple to prepare; they list the company name, company number, the Type 6 establishment name, the establishment's address, and the number of employees at the establishment. While Type 6 reports are easy to prepare, the downside of using these reports is that the gender and race/ethnicity data for all employees listed on Type 6 reports must be included in the company Type 2 consolidated report, and these totals must be manually added into the Type 2 report. Mistakes made during this manual process may take some time to find and remedy. 

Another common mistake cited by the EEOC is failing to submit or submitting invalid North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. What are these codes, how does the EEOC use them, and why does the EEOC need them?

NAICS codes were developed by the Office of Management and Budget in the late 1990s "to replace the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system," according to the United States Census Bureau. NAICS codes are used by the federal government to collect, analyze, and classify statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. By using these codes, the EEOC and other arms of the federal government can use EEO-1 data to compare businesses and workers in the same industry. Without these codes, the EEOC would not be able to make accurate comparisons between companies and across industries. 

Are there several different kinds of EEO-1 reports?

There are several types of EEO-1 reports. An employer determines which type of report to file based on whether it has a single establishment or is a multi-establishment employer with more than one physical business location:

Single Establishment Employers

  • Type 1 – These reports are for single establishment employers and include all company employees on a single report prepared for the single physical location where a company does business. 

Multi-Establishment Employers

  • Type 2 – This is the consolidated report for multi-establishment employers and includes all employees of the company from all locations where the company operates.
  • Type 3 – This is the report for the company's headquarters and includes all employees at the headquarters.
  • Type 4 – This report is for all multi-establishment company establishments that have 50 or more employees but are not the company's headquarters.
  • Type 8 – This report is for all multi-establishment company establishments that have fewer than 50 employees. 
  • Type 6 – This report is also for all multi-establishment company establishments that have fewer than 50 employees.
  • Companies must choose between using Type 6 and Type 8 reports and must use the same type of report for all establishments with fewer than 50 employees. 

The EEOC also says employers sometimes fail to include unit numbers on Type 8 reports. What are unit numbers, and why are they needed?

Establishment or unit numbers are required for all of the reports except Type 6 reports. The unit numbers provide a unique identifier for all of the company's locations and are tied to the specific establishment and its physical address. For a Type 8 report to be valid, companies must provide the unit number prior to filing reports for the relevant EEO-1 locations.

The EEOC says another common mistake is that employers sometimes report the prior year totals instead of the current year totals. How does this happen, and how does it lead to problems?

The prior year totals are located one line below the current year totals in all completed reports (except Type 6) and can be confused with the current year totals when inputting data into the online reports and reviewing completed forms for accuracy. This can lead to problems either when data is being input or when end users review the report and mistake the prior year totals for the current year totals. This can lead to mistaken concerns that the current year reports have errors. 

Originally published in SHRM Online.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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