Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Goes After Employers Who Failed To File EEO-1 Reports

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The EEO-1 report, mandated by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, requires private employers with 100 or more employees, as well as employers who contract with the federal government with 50 or more employees and contracts of $50,000 or more.
United States Employment and HR
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The EEO-1 report, mandated by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, requires private employers with 100 or more employees, as well as employers who contract with the federal government with 50 or more employees and contracts of $50,000 or more, to submit data on the racial/ethnic and gender composition of their workforce. This reporting is accomplished by completing and filing a standardized form known as the EEO-1. The workforce demographic data on the EEO-1 is used for a variety of purposes, including targeting companies for enforcement, analytics and research, and employer self-assessment.

The EEO-1 reporting process is administered by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The reported information is also shared with the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), the agency responsible for enforcing federal government contractors' affirmative action obligations.

In late May 2024, the EEOC announced that it had filed lawsuits against 15 employers in 10 states, alleging failure to comply with mandatory federal reporting requirements. In these lawsuits, the EEOC claims that these employers repeatedly failed to submit mandatory EEO-1 Component 1 data reports in prior years, including for reporting years 2021 and 2022.

The EEOC takes the position that the companies' failure to submit the required data hinders its ability to investigate and address potential discrimination within the organization. The lawsuits underscore the importance of timely and accurate EEO-1 reporting in fostering transparency and accountability in employment practices.

The EEO-1 requires employers to report statistical information on their workforce broken down into sex and race/ethnicity by 10 established job categories. This information is known as Component 1 data. The seven race/ethnicity categories are: Hispanic or Latino; White (Not Hispanic or Latino); Black or African American (Not Hispanic or Latino); Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (Not Hispanic or Latino); Asian (Not Hispanic or Latino); American Indian or Alaska Native (Not Hispanic or Latino); and Two or More Races (Not Hispanic or Latino).

The 10 job categories are: Executive/Senior Level Officials and Managers; First/Mid-Level Officials and Managers; Professionals; Technicians; Sales Workers; Administrative Support Workers; Craft Workers; Operatives; Laborers and Helpers; and Service Workers. This data helps the EEOC and the OFCCP identify patterns of discrimination and enforce federal laws against workplace bias.

The EEOC requires electronic submission of EEO-1 Component 1 reports through the EEO-1 Component 1 Online Filing System, a web-based data collection application portal.

It is essential for employers to recognize the importance of EEO-1 reporting and prioritize compliance with federal regulations. Employers should view EEO-1 reporting not just as a regulatory obligation but as a critical tool for conducting self-analysis of their organizations.

The published deadline to file the 2023 EEO-1 Component 1 report was June 4, 2024. If your company is obligated to report but has not yet done so, the EEOC advises that employers who have not submitted and certified their mandatory 2023 EEO-1 Component 1 report by Tuesday, June 4, 2024, must submit and certify their report as soon as possible, and no later than 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Employers who were obligated to file in prior years and did not do so should consult with counsel to determine the best way to remedy the situation.

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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