November 18, 2005
On November 16, 2005, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") voted to approve revisions to the Employer Information Report, or EEO-1. The EEO-1, which must be submitted on an annual basis by employers with 100 or more employees, and by certain government contractors with 50 or more employees, requires data concerning the composition of each employer’s workforce by race/ethnicity, gender and job classification. The reports are used for statistical and enforcement purposes by the EEOC and, for government contractors, by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs ("OFCCP") within the U.S. Department of Labor.
The new form reflects revisions to racial and ethnic categories as well as job classifications and will require changes in employer data management practices.
Notably, a new racial category will be added to count employees of "two or more races." In addition, the new form will separate "Asians" from "Pacific Islanders," and will rename certain categories, changing "Hispanic" to "Hispanic or Latino" and "Black" to "Black or African American." In total, the new form will have one ethnic category -"Hispanic or Latino"- and six "non Hispanic or Latino" racial categories – "White," "Black or African American," "Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander," "Asian," "American Indian or Alaskan Native," and "Two or More Races."
The new form will also split the current "Officials and Managers" job classification into two different groupings: "Executive/Senior Level Officials and Managers" and "First/Mid Level Officials and Managers." Moreover, certain business and financial occupations will be moved from the "Officials and Managers" category to the "Professionals" category. The EEOC believes that these changes will "improve data for analyzing trends in mobility of minorities and women." The EEOC explained its view that the current "Officials and Managers" category "conflates data about jobs of widely discrepant responsibilities, compensation, and skill, and thereby risks obscuring important trends in the employment of women and minorities."
In addition, voluntary employee self-identification will be the "preferred method" for obtaining racial or ethnic data, and other methods, such as visual observation, will be permitted "only when employees decline to self-identify." The EEOC will also withdraw the exemption from race/ethnicity reporting for establishments located in Hawaii.
These revisions to the EEO-1 are expected to be published in the Federal Register in the near future. There will be a final 30-day comment period following their publication. If approved by the Office of Management and Budget after that comment period, the revised form will be required to be used for reports due on September 30, 2007.
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher lawyers have significant experience defending employers in pivotal discrimination cases brought under the myriad of federal and state employment discrimination laws. The firm is among the best in representing employers in class action lawsuits arising under those laws. In addition, we routinely represent clients before the EEOC, the OFCCP, state commissions governing equal employment, and other administrative agencies with jurisdiction over various employment matters.
If you would like to discuss these or other labor and employment law issues, please contact the Gibson Dunn attorney with whom you work or Labor and Employment Practice Group Co-Chairs Deborah J. Clarke in Los Angeles (213/229-7903) or Eugene Scalia in Washington, D.C. (202/955-8206).
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