What is EEO-1?

An EEO-1 report is required to be filed by employers to evidence compliance through the reporting of employment data as requested by the federal government. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the governing body that requires employer to complete and submit the EEO-1 report, which must be filed by any employer who meets the established criteria.   Employers who meet this established criteria must undertake the EEO-1 exercise by completing the survey form (Standard Form 100) to include all data in the categories of gender, ethnicity, job category and race.   The EEO-1 report submission provides the EEOC with a manner by which it is able to monitor an employer’s compliance with the equal opportunity provisions. 

Steps in Filing an EEO-1 Report: Determine Whether You Need to File an EE0-1 Report

As previously mentioned, only those employers who meet the established criteria are required to complete and file an EEO-1 report.   As a result, any employer who currently employees at least 15 employees must comply with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in order to be classified as being an employer of equal opportunity and therefore avoid any discrimination against current or prospective employees based on protected physical characteristics.   That said, to be required to submit and file an EEO-1 report, the employer must have at least 100 employees on their books.  For those employers that have less than 100 employees and happened to be owned, controlled by or affiliated with a company that does have more than 100 employees overall, that employer would be required to submit an EEO-1 report.  Furthermore, if an employer has more than 50 employees and the employer has applied and received a federal contract worth more than $50,000, that employer would be required to submit an EEO-1 report.  Lastly, if an employer has 50 or more employees and function as a paying and issuing agent for U.S. savings bonds or acts as a government funds depository, that employer would be required to submit an EEO-1 report.  

All employers who are required to submit an EEO-1 report may do so by using the Standard Form 100.   There are two exemptions under the EEO-1 guidelines.  The first pertains to employers with more than 50 employees, but maintaining an exemption from filing an EEO-1 report based on the guidance provided in regulation 41 CFR 60-1.5.  In addition, if you are an employer located in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico or other US territories you do not have to file an EEO-1 report.

Learn the Basics of the EEO Report

The next step in the EEO-1 report process after you determine whether you are required to submit an EEO-1 report is to understand the basics of an EEO Report.   First, the annual submission deadline for all EEO-1 reports is the end of the 3rd quarter or September 30.   The EEOC may grant an employer an extension of 30-days or the EEOC may officially grant an extension to all filers.   Employers operating out of one location as one standalone establishment are defined a single establishment employers under the federal guidelines and thus must submit one single EEO-1 report.   Employers operating out of more than one location or establishment would be defined by the federal guidelines as multi-establishment employers and must submit a variety of reports.  Multi-establishment employers are required to file one report for the organization’s headquarters, one report for any establishment maintained by the organization that employs more than 50 employees, a list of the organization’s establishments that have less than 50 employees with metrics detailing job category, gender and race, and the organization must file a consolidated report for all establishments.

Register as a First-Time Filer

Once you have the basics of filing an EEO-1 report down cold, you must understand the steps to be taken to register as a first time filer.   An employer must obtain a user login ID as well as a password in order to submit an EEO-1 report.  The EEOC will require an employer to register as a first-time submitter in order to obtain a user login ID and password.    By completing the EEO-1 registration form as a first-time filer, the EEOC is able to verify the employer’s application credentials and truly help employers determine if they are indeed obligated to register for a first-time filing.   Employers are strongly encouraged to complete the registration process will in advance of the September 30 EEO-1 submission date as it will undoubtedly take time for the employer to establish a process for completing and submitting the Standard Form 100.

Collect the Data for Your EEO-1 Report

Now that an employer has registered with the EEOC to submit the Standard Form 100 in September, the employer must begin collecting the requirement employment data for submission.  The employment data can generally refer to any pay period within the 3rd quarter.  Employers will generally rely on self-identification by employees as an effective and essential procedure with the effect of ensuring the accurate submission of data.  As such, employers should provide the required self-identification documentation to their employees well in advance of the submission date to make certain that data collection is done by the deadline.  Usually in a multi-establishment organization, the headquarter location will be responsible for collecting all data submissions from the other establishments.

While it is preferred to have employees self-identify, some employers have no choice but to undertake the initiative as certain employees may refuse to provide the necessary data.  As such an employer is left to complete the data form based upon the employer’s records of their own observations.  Even if an employee works on a part-time basis, the employee’s data must be made part of the submission.

When classifying employees for the purpose of the EEO-1 report submission, employers are instructed to use several classifications based on job level.  For example, executive level, managers, mid-level officials, technicians, professionals, sales, admin support, laborers and service workers.    When attempting classify their employees based on race, employers will generally use the following categories: white, black, Hispanic, Asian, and American Indian.   Lastly, the EEO-1 report requires only that the employer submit employment data requested and not all data obtained from candidates during the hiring process.

Prepare and Submit the EEO-1 Report

Now that the employees have provided their self-identified data or the employer completed on their behalf, the employer can begin preparing the EEO-1 report submission based on the establishment and the characteristics required to be identified.   Like most entities in the present day, the EEOC would prefer that employers submit the EEO-1 report via online tools in an attempt to reduce the amount of paperwork the government maintains in physical files.   As such, the EEOC has notified employers that paper EEO-1 report submission will only be accepted if the employer has made a prior request and received approval.  That said, the EEOC has been known to periodically accept employer proposal establishing alternative reporting methods.   Most importantly, employers must not forget to click on the certify report button as their report will not be submitted if they fail to do so.

Track Changes in EEO-1 Reporting Requirements

Like all government regulations, amendments are a necessary part of keeping the regulation up to date.  As such, employers must make regulatory change management a part of their EEO-1 report process.   More specifically, the EEOC has recently suggested changes to the EEO-1 report categories that would impact the employers that must report.  In 2017, the EEOC is considering requirements that could make employers submit compensation-related data (wage earnings and worked hours) in their EEO-1 report submissions.  It is important for employers to stay current on the EEO-1 report requirements, as the consequences could be severe for any employer filing an inaccurate or incomplete report.   These penalties could include fines or result in federal contract termination.

Expand Your Data for Complete EEO Compliance

Given the possible severe penalties for the filing of an inaccurate or incomplete EEO-1 report, employers should invest in efficient and effective tools for recording and storing the required employment data.  As such, for most employers, it would be best to have a detailed hiring process that gathered this data as well as having an employer actively involved in this process.   With the insight into the hiring process, an employer should be able to correct any mistakes in employment data in a swift manner to avoid filing an inaccurate or incomplete submission down the road.

The 2017 EEO-1 Report

As previously discussed, the EEOC has contemplated and passed some amendments to the process that will require employers to submit compensation-related data beginning in March 2018.  In recent years, there have been additional complaints made to the EEOC as it related to compensation-related discrimination based on ethnicity, gender or race.   By requiring employers to submit this compensation-related data in the EEO-1 report, the EEOC will be able to investigate such matters more easily and comprehensively.   The new EEO-1 filing deadline will be March 31 from this point forward.

In addition, the EEOC has released their plans to publish reports compiled with data they have aggregated from employers to serve as training materials for their investigators in an attempt to identify possible discrimination indicators that would warrant further investigation.

The 2017 EEO-1 Report: Summary Pay Data

In the recently amended EEO-1 report changes, employers must provide compensation-related data in their 2018 filings with the EEOC.   The compensation-related data must include all full and part-time employees and the total amount within the EEOC’s 12 pay ranges for those listed EEO-1 job categories.

The twelve pay bands are as follows:

  1. $19,239 and under
  2. $19,240-$24,439
  3. $24,440-$30,679
  4. $30,680-$38,999
  5. $39,000-$49,919
  6. $49,920-$62,919
  7. $62,920-$80,079
  8. $80,080-$101,919
  9. $101,920-$128,959
  10. $128,960-$163,799
  11. $163,800-$207,999
  12. $208,000 and over

The 2017 EEO-1 Report: Hours Worked Data

In addition to the requirement for compensation-related data, employers will need to also provide data on the hours worked by each of the full and part-time employees again classified according to the aforementioned 12 pay ranges.  The EEOC has asked to include the worked hour’s data in the EEO-1 report to allow for the factor of part-time employment to be factored into their compensation-related data analysis.  The data on the number of hours worked must be recorded in accordance with the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  If an employer has employees that are classified as exempt employees under the FLSA, employers will have the option to report 20 hours for those working part-time on a weekly basis or 40 hours for those working full-time on a weekly basis.   The employer could also just report the number of hours the employee actually worked as well.

Preparation for the 2017 EEO-1 Reporting Requirements

Given the extent of the changes that will be coming for the March 31, 2018 submission of the EEO-1 report, employers must begin their preparations.   Employers may want to begin self-audit work to truly understand their compensation-related data and if there are any disparities based on gender, race or job category.  This will allow employers the necessary time to explain any of these disparities and rationalize them.

Employers who want to get their arms around compensation-related day should access their existing payrolls systems to determine the systems capabilities in generating the required reports with the necessary information, communicate with their legal teams to truly understand the new requirements, develop the necessary policies and procedures to handle this new process for submission, and map the existing employer pay ranges to the 12 pay ranges specified by EEOC.   There are more steps that can be taken, but the most important piece is to get started now.

If you need help understanding EEO-1, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts on the top 5 percent to its site.  Lawyers from UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.