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January 02, 2007
Compliance Tips for the New EEO-1 Report

The EEO-1 Report--the principal reporting form by which employers provide the federal government with a count of their workforces by ethnicity, race, and gender, divided into job categories--has changed, and covered employers will have to use the revised format in 2007.

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires the EEO-1 Report annually from private employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with federal government contracts of $50,000 or more and 50 or more employees.

The EEO-1 final rule published by the EEOC states that all covered employers must use the new EEO-1 reporting format with the report due in September 2007. However, EEOC has stated that covered employers need not resurvey their workforce in order to complete the EEO-1 Report due in September, 2007. As a result, employers will need to use the new EEO-1 Form in 2007, but will not need to resurvey and report on new race/ethnic categories for their workforce until they begin to prepare for the September 2008 EEO-1.

The EEOC has stated, however that "opportunities to further resurvey without additional burden should be utilized as much and as soon as possible, for example, using routine updates to employees' personal information to obtain updated EEO-1 data. Employers should also seek self-identification of new employees under the new ethnic and racial categories as soon as possible." (November 28, 2005, EEOC's Notice of Submission for OMB Review, Federal Register Vol. 70, No. 227, p. 71300).

Although employers are not required to resurvey until the 2008 EEO-1, if an employer is able to complete the new EEO-1 Form in 2007, based on their own knowledge of the workforce (i.e., employer can identify employees of two or more races and Hawaiian employees), they may do so. If the employer is not able to fill out the new racial/ethnic categories on the new EEO-1 Form in 2007 without resurveying the workforce, then boxes for the new racial/ethnic categories may be left blank. Please note, however that employers should complete the new EEO-1 data requirements for new manager types, since this information can be determined without resurveying.

Important: Although the EEOC has changed the way in which covered employers and government contractors will need to act to complete the EEO-1, the OFCCP has not yet made any changes to its rules regarding classification of employees for affirmative action purposes. Therefore, contractors need not change the way in which they survey and gather data for affirmative action purposes. In effect, this creates a dual system for soliciting self-identification and "counting" employees by gender and race/ethnicity ­ one system for EEO-1 compliance and one system for affirmative action reporting and compliance. This will not change unless (or until) OFCCP changes its rules regarding race/ethnic classifications.

For more tips on the new EEO-1 Report, sign up for BLR's 2007 EEO-1 Reporting Rules Audio Conference.

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