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What Is An EEO-1 Report and Do You Need to File One?

So what is an EEO-1 report? Do you need to file one?

If so, what does that process entail? How to file an EEO-1 Report? Should you outsource your EEO-1 reporting? Find answers to these questions and more in this helpful guide.

In 2019, women represented 47% of the U.S. workforce. Meanwhile, people of color represented 36% of American workers. These numbers indicate significant improvements in the diversity of the American labor force. Still, efforts to increase diversity in the workplace are ongoing. 

The EEO-1 Report supports these efforts. Human resource staff must understand this report and file it completely, properly, and on time.

What Is an EEO-1 Report?

An EEO-1 Report is a survey intended to measure the diversity of the U.S. workforce. It is also known as an employer information report.

Federal statutes and regulations require companies that have reached a certain size to file this report. The EEO-1 provides data on the race, ethnicity, gender, and job categories of the American labor force.  

To comply with EEO-1 requirements, companies ask employees to self-identify on the above measures. Depending on their size and structure, companies report these data using one or more EEO-1 forms.

EEO-1 data is confidential. Nevertheless, it is valuable to government research and enforcement efforts.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) use EEO-1 data in various ways.

First, they use it to track and report on employment patterns within and between companies, industries, and regions. This data is available to the public only in the aggregate. Thus, these statistics do not violate confidentiality requirements.

The OFCCP and EEOC also use EEO-1 data to support civil rights enforcement. If an employee files a discrimination complaint, the EEOC may use these reports to investigate.

Additionally, the OFCCP employs the data when conducting audits on government contractors. These audits aim to ensure compliance with affirmative action guidelines.

Who Must File an EEO-1 Report?

Any company with 100 or more employees must file an EEO-1 Report. These numbers—and the required EEO-1 Reports—include both full- and part-time workers. They include remote workers as well.

Some smaller companies must also file the report if they meet certain conditions. Companies with 50 or more employees must file an EEO-1 Report if they:

  • Have a government contract worth $50,000 or more
  • Are paying an issuing agent for a savings bond
  • Are serving as a depository of government funds

Finally, businesses of any size must file an EEO-1 Report if they are owned by or are affiliates of companies that have more than 100 employees in total.

A Note on Federal Contractors’ EEO-1 Report Filing Obligations

Federal contractors that meet the above conditions must take particular care to follow EEO-1 reporting requirements. Failure to comply with these requirements leads to stiff penalties. These include termination of the contract and debarment from future contract work.

Federal contractors must also comply with diversity regulations that extend beyond EEO-1 reporting. Under Executive Order 11246, federal contractors and subcontractors must take affirmative action to ensure equal opportunity for employment. This involves creating a written affirmative action plan (AAP).

An AAP details a contractor’s efforts to increase diversity. These efforts can include but are not limited to outreach efforts and training programs for underrepresented groups. 

The OFCCP serves as the watchdog for contractor compliance with these and other requirements.

Because these requirements are complex, many contractors work with Affirmative Action Plan Consultants. These consultants, like the professionals at Career Resources Inc., assist contractors with compliance. Their work includes drafting, submitting, and updating contractors’ AAPs. It also includes filing contractors’ EEO-1 forms and conduct internal audits.

Working with a consultant like CRI saves time and reduces the risk for errors and hefty penalties.

How to File an EEO-1 Report

Filing an EEO-1 Report requires attention to detail and deadlines. It also requires understanding and choosing between different forms that apply to different businesses and contractors.

According to many companies with experience in this realm, this complexity is why you should outsource your EEO-1 Report to a qualified service provider.

If you do choose to file your own EEO-1 form, the EEOC website offers helpful resources. It’s important to review this information as soon as possible. Doing so ensures that you have enough time to gather data before the reporting deadline.

The EEOC establishes May 31 as the annual EEO-1 reporting deadline. The agency’s website and mailings alert you when the current year’s reporting period opens.

Getting Started

As a first-time filer, you’ll use the EEOC website to complete a registration form. This involves creating a username and password. Be sure to keep this information in a secure location. 

Also remember to report any changes in your EEO-1 contact information to the EEOC’s Employee Data Team. The EEOC uses this information to communicate with your company. These communications include an annual letter notifying previous filers that the new survey has opened. Keeping this information updated ensures you receive these communications in a timely manner.

Of course, first-time filers don’t receive these reminders. Therefore, they must be proactive. Again, it is essential to create an account and explore the EEOC website weeks or even months before the report’s deadline. 

Gathering Data

After creating an account or receiving your annual letter, the next step is gathering data. To do this, you’ll need to design a self-identification form. 

This form asks employees to self-report on all of the measures the EEO-1 form requires. Thus, your form must ask all full- and part-time employees to identify their:

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Job Classification

For the purposes of the EEO-1 form, job classifications include:

  • Professionals
  • Middle-level managers and officials 
  • Executives, managers, or senior staff members 
  • Administrative support staff
  • Sales workers
  • Operatives
  • Craftworkers, service workers, and technicians
  • Helpers and laborers 

Employees can choose not to self-identify on the above measures. In these cases, however, your reporting obligations remain. Companies can use employment records and observations in lieu of survey data for these employees.

The EEOC recommends looking at sample forms to guide the creation of your survey. The Equal Employment Advisory Council form provides one such sample.

After you create your survey, send it to your employees with clear instructions and a firm deadline. Once again, being proactive and sending this survey well in advance of your EEO-1 deadline benefits all parties.

First, working ahead ensures that you can gather the data that the form requests. The EEOC website specifies that EEO-1 data must come from one pay period in October-December of the survey year.

Working ahead also gives you enough time to compile and submit the data. Be sure to allow enough time between the deadline you set for your survey and your reporting deadline with the EEOC.

At this stage, many companies find it helpful to organize the data in a spreadsheet for future reference.

Reporting EEO-1 Data to the EEOC

A spreadsheet can help you organize data from employee surveys. It can also serve as an internal point of reference. However, reporting data to the EEOC requires using specific forms.

The EEOC strongly encourages companies to submit these forms digitally. The online filing application is the most efficient. It is also encrypted to protect sensitive data.

The EEOC may approve and generate a paper form for companies with limited internet access. However, this option is a last resort reserved for only the most extreme circumstances.

Whether online or by mail, you’ll need to complete and submit the correct forms for your business.

Businesses that operate in only one location need to file a single EEO-1 Report. This report is called the Type 1 EEO-1 Report.

Still, many businesses span multiple locations. The reporting requirements for these businesses are more complicated. Businesses that operate across multiple locations must submit a multi-establishment report. This report includes several forms.

Completing an EEO-1 Multi-Establishment Report

The main form in a multi-establishment report is the Type 2 Consolidated Report. It provides detailed data on all of the company’s employees. Importantly, the additional individual forms below will auto-populate many fields in the Consolidated Report. Thus, companies often complete these individual forms first.

The Type 3 Headquarters Report provides detailed data on the employees who report—in person or remotely—to the company’s headquarters. Of course, some larger companies have a smaller workforce at their headquarters. If the entire company meets the size requirements for reporting EEO-1 data, however, even a smaller headquarters must complete the Type 3 form.

The multi-establishment report must, finally, include establishment reports for each facility. Establishment reports use different forms depending on the size of the facilities.

Companies must submit Type 4 Establishment Reports for each domestic facility that houses 50 or more employees. Like the Headquarters Report, Type 4 Establishment Reports provide detailed data regarding employees’ gender, race, ethnicity, and job classifications.

Companies with smaller offices must submit Type 8 Establishment Reports for each domestic facility that houses fewer than 50 employees. These, too, provide detailed data on employee diversity at each establishment.

As an alternative to the Type 8 form, companies with smaller facilities can provide a Type 6 Establishment List. This list identifies the following information for each establishment:

  • Name
  • Complete address
  • Number of employees

Importantly, companies that elect the Type 6 List option must manually enter data for each establishment into the Consolidated Report.

The EEOC allows these options so that companies can choose the forms that best meet their needs. Companies with fewer small establishments may find the Type 8 form easier. In contrast, companies with many small establishments may prefer the Type 6 report.

Submitting Your Form(s)

After you’ve entered your data, review it for accuracy. Also review the instructions and requirements to ensure that you’ve followed them completely.

Submitting data that is incomplete or incorrect can result in fines from the EEOC.

When satisfied with your data, click “Certify Report.” Then be sure to save a PDF copy of your EEO-1 Report for your records. You can print a paper copy of the report as well.

Some users reach the final step of the process but struggle to find the “Certify Report” button. If this button is missing, it likely indicates a data entry error.

Users who must file multi-establishment reports face a greater possibility for error. A mismatch between the total number of employees across the consolidated and individual reports is a common problem in these cases.

Multi-establishment filers can use the Reconciliation Report to identify these and other errors. A “C” next to the Reconciliation Report indicates a form that is ready to certify. An “I” next to the Reconciliation Report indicates errors. The report further flags any discrepancies with negative values. You must correct these errors before submitting your forms.

EEO-1 Frequently Asked Questions

The EEOC website publishes a helpful list of frequently asked questions regarding the EEO-1. The following questions and answers add to that list.

How Long Does It Take to Comply with EEO-1 Reporting Requirements?

The EEOC estimates the burden of complying with EEO-1 reporting requirements at 3.5 hours per response. They define a response as one form. Thus, this estimate is a bare minimum.

In fact, companies with multiple establishments face significantly greater investments of time in reporting this data. Regardless of their structure, larger companies must also gather data from many more employees. 

For time-strapped human resource departments, compliance can, therefore, impose a significant burden of time.

What Are the Benefits of Outsourcing My Company’s EEO-1 Forms?

Outsourcing compliance with EEO-1 reporting requirements saves your company time. This is especially true for larger companies and federal contractors who face more complex requirements. 

However, companies of any size can benefit from outsourcing their EEO-1 forms.

Qualified service providers like CRI specialize in AAPs and EEO-1 Reports. Filing an EEO-1 Report and drafting AAPs is what they do.

In contrast, human resource departments complete EEO-1 forms once a year. This means that they face a steep and repetitive learning curve each year. For first-time filers, this learning curve is even more intense. CRI specialists let you reclaim the time you’d otherwise spend mastering this learning curve. 

Perhaps even more importantly, CRI specialists can save you money by preventing errors that can result in costly fines. 

Existing clients’ testimonials highlight these benefits.

Working with Affirmative Action Specialists: Seizing the Opportunity to Save Money and Time While Complying with Equal Opportunity Requirements

Equal opportunity reporting requirements are valuable and necessary. At the same time, they are complex. Many first-time EEO-1 filers begin the process by asking the most basic question: “What is an EEO-1 Report?”

This guide provides a comprehensive answer to that question. It also gives HR departments some resources for successfully filing their EEO-1 Reports.

Specialists like CRI are among the best resources for EEO-1 compliance. Contact CRI today for more information or to request a consultation.

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