The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the federal laws that prohibit discrimination in employment. These laws include: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII); The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (an amendment to Title VII); The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA); The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA); Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and its amendments; and The Genetic Information Nondisclosure Act of 2008 (GINA).
As any of us who have been employed since 1964 know, these laws are intended to protect employees in covered organizations from discrimination because of their race, gender (including pregnancy), national origin, age (if 40 or older), disability, or genetic information. An employer must employ a certain number of people to be covered by these laws. To make it even more difficult for those of us in HR, the number varies by the type of employer (private, government, etc.) and the type of discrimination.
The EEOC’s enforcement of these laws includes the requirement that employers keep certain records, regardless of whether or not a charge of discrimination has ever been filed. In addition, the EEOC collects certain workforce data from some employers. The EEOC collects this data from: (a) employers with 100 or more employees; or (b) employers with federal government contracts of $50,000 or more and 50 or more employers (basically, those required to implement affirmative action plans).
The EEO-1 Report, also known as the Employer Information Report, is required to be completed and submitted annually by September 30th. The report is submitted to the EEOC, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). The data that is collected is used for several purposes, including: civil rights enforcement, self-assessment for employers, and research.
In 2007, the EEOC changed the report to expand race and ethnic categories:
- “Two or More Races” (new category)
- Divided “Asian or Pacific Islander” into two categories: “Asian” and “Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander”
- “Black” changed to “Black or African American”
- “Hispanic” changed to “Hispanic or Latino”
Organizations are strongly encouraged to use employee self-identification rather than visual identification by the employer
In addition to the above changes, the EEOC also revised the job categories used for reporting. These include:
- Executive/Senior Level Officials and Managers – these positions formulate strategy in larger organizations and generally are within no more than two reporting levels of the CEO.
- First/Mid-Level Officials and Managers – implementation and operations of the business.
- Professionals – includes jobs that typically require bachelor and graduate degrees and/or professional certification: accounting, human resources, etc.
- Technicians – these jobs require applied scientific skills, usually involving some type of post-secondary education, depending on the occupation.
- Sales Workers – non-managerial positions that primarily and completely involve direct sales.
- Administrative Support Workers – non-managerial positions that provide administrative and support assistance (mostly in office settings).
- Craft Workers – higher-skilled occupations in construction and natural resource extraction workers.
- Operatives – typically intermediate-skilled occupations such as machine operators or those who operate factory-related processing equipment.
- Laborers and Helpers – limited skills that require only brief training to perform tasks that require little or no independent judgment.
- Service Workers – food service, cleaning, personal service and protective service activities.
To be prepared to complete the EEO-1 report, take care to ensure you are keeping all appropriate records. There are effective technology solutions available to streamline this process.
You can find more information about the EEOC and the EEO-1 reporting requirements here:
EEO-1 Reporting Survey
EEOC Information for Employers