Shannon Miller
11.29.05

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has recently approved revisions to the EEO-1 Report. The changes, if approved by the Office of Management and Budget, will take effect in 2007 and represent the first significant changes to the form since 1966.

The new EEO-1 will include race and ethnicity categories that are consistent with the format in which data were collected during the 2000 Census. The other changes are designed to provide more detailed information about a company’s workforce. Here, in “FAQ” format, is a summary of the proposed changes:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 What are the significant changes to the EEO-1 Report?

The new form requires reporting of “ethnicity,” and has also made some changes to “racial” classifications. In addition, the EEO category 1 (Officials and Managers) has been subdivided, and certain job classifications have been moved to EEO category 2 (Professionals).

Changes to Race and Ethnicity

  • Reporting employees’ ethnicity as either “Hispanic or Latino” or “Not-Hispanic or Latino”
  • Reporting race information for employees identified as “Not-Hispanic or Latino”
  • Adding a new racial category “Two or More Races”
  • Subdividing the old “Asian/Pacific Islander” category into “Asian” and “Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander”
  • Renaming “Black” – “Black or African American”
  • Renaming “Hispanic” – “Hispanic or Latino”

These changes went into effect in the affirmative action context in 2003. In 2002, Constangy’s flagship newsletter, Labor and Employment Insights, contained an article discussing these race/ethnicity categories in more detail. To access the Bulletin, click here (“OFCCP’s New ‘Ethnicity’ Reporting Requirements”).

Changes to Job Categories

  • Subdividing EEO Category 1, Officials and Managers, into “Executive/Senior Level Officials and Managers” and “First/Mid-Level Officials and Managers”
  • Moving non-managerial business and financial occupations from “Officials and Managers” to EEO Category 2 (“Professionals”).

Other changes include extending race/ethnicity data collection to the State of Hawaii, which was previously exempt, and endorsing self-identification by employees rather than visual identification by employers.

Should I be concerned about these changes?

Yes. Here’s why:

Race/Ethnicity. As the “race” and “ethnicity” categories become more specific, it becomes increasingly difficult for employers to classify employees who do not self-identify. (The new categories are also expected to cause difficulty for employees and applicants trying to classify themselves.) The same is true for the addition of the “Two or More Races” category. And, of course, the expansion of the “race” and “ethnicity” categories is also expected to increase the percentage of “minorities,” which may affect employers’ utilization and adverse impact.

For more information about the racial/ethnic categories, click here.

Changes to “Officials and Managers” category. Perhaps an even more significant concern is the new subdivision of the “Officials and Managers” category. In addition to the difficulty of deciding where to draw the line between “senior level” management and “mid- to lower-level management,” employers will have to assess the representation of females and minorities in each subcategory to determine whether an actual or apparent “glass ceiling” exists.

Systemic/paperwork concerns. Employers will have to revise the voluntary self-identification forms – both for employees and applicants - so that these forms will track the information requested by the new EEO-1 Report. (The EEOC has declined to adopt a specific voluntary self-identification form.) HRIS or other computer systems that track EEO data will have to be assessed and adjusted consistent with the changes.

When will these changes take effect?

Assuming OMB approves the changes, they will be effective beginning with the EEO-1 Report to be filed in September of 2007. We anticipate OMB approval. You should file the EEO-1 Report for 2006 in the same manner as in the past.

What action can I take if I disagree with these changes?

Shortly, the 30-day public comment period will begin. Public comments should be submitted to the OMB at Carolyn_L._Lovett@omb.eop.gov.

Should my company be completing the EEO-1 Report?

Yes, if you fall into EITHER of these two categories:

  • Your company is private and has 100 or more employees, OR
  • Your company has federal government contracts of $50,000 or more and 50 or more employees.

How do I complete the EEO-1 Report?

The report is completed on line through the EEOC’s web page – www.eeoc.gov.

What is the EEO-1 Report used for?

The EEOC uses this report to analyze patterns of female and minority representation in different industries and regions. The data on EEO-1 Reports is also used by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the agency that enforces affirmative action requirements for federal contractors. The OFCCP uses the data to select federal contractors for compliance reviews and other enforcement action.

Where do I go for help with all this?

For more information about the changes to the EEO-1 Report, click here.

For a copy of the new EEO-1 form, click here.

If you have questions or need assistance in completing the existing or new EEO-1 Report, contact any member of Constangy’s Affirmative Action practice group, or the Constangy attorney of your choice. 

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