Employers should begin now to plan for several major changes in EEO-1 reporting requirements that go into effect with the filing of the 2007 EEO-1 form. Companies with at least 100 employees, and most government contractors, must file an EEO-1 form each year, which reports on the number of female and minority employees in broad occupational categories. In the past, employer workforce data was divided into nine job categories, using five race and ethnic categories. The new EEO-1 form, however, changes these reporting requirements.
The revised EEO-1 report makes two changes in job categories. First, the new form divides the Officials and Managers (O&M) category into two subgroups: Executives/Senior Level Officials and Managers, and First/Mid Level Officials and Managers. The new EEO-1 form defines Executives/Senior Level Officials and Managers as employees who “plan, direct and formulate policy, set strategy and provide overall direction” and “in larger organizations [are] within two reporting levels of CEO.” First/Mid Level Officials and Managers are now defined as those employees who “direct implementation or operations within specific parameters set by Executive/Senior Level Officials and Managers [and] oversee day-to-day operations.” The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has provided more detail on these two subcategories and recommendations on how to classify employees on its website.
Second, the revised EEO-1 moves certain business and financial occupations from the O&M category to the Professionals category. The challenge with this change is identifying exactly which business and financial jobs should be reclassified. The EEOC appears to suggest that employers move all non-managerial business and financial employees out of the O&M category and into the Professionals category. To assist employers in identifying which business and financial jobs to move, the agency has prepared an occupational guide that assigns census categories and Standard Occupational Classification codes to the various EEO-1 categories. The occupational guide also is accessible at the EEOC’s website. Employers may refer to the guide to check the accuracy of their classification of other jobs as well.
Implementing the Job Category Changes: Before September 30, 2007, employers must review all job titles currently classified as O&M. The first step is to move the appropriate business and financial occupations from the O&M category to the Professionals category. Employers should then assign the remaining O&M jobs into one of the two new subcategories. Next, employers should incorporate those changes into the appropriate databases.
Racial And Ethnic Categories
The new EEO-1 form incorporates two major changes in racial and ethnic categories. First, the revised EEO-1 form adds a new category, “two or more races.” Second, the revised form subdivides the familiar “Asian or Pacific Islander” category into two separate categories: “Asian” and “Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islanders.” These changes will significantly impact employers’ recordkeeping practices.
Effective September 30, 2007, when gathering demographic information for EEO-1 purposes, employers must ask separate questions regarding ethnicity and race using a “Two Question Format.” First, employers must ask if an individual is Hispanic or Latino (ethnicity). Next, if the employee answers “no” the employer must ask what race/races the employee considers him or herself to be, choosing among six racial categories: white; Black or African American; Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; Asian; American Indian or Alaska Native; or two or more races (not Hispanic or Latino).
The new EEO-1 instructions also strongly endorse self-identification of race and ethnic categories, as opposed to visual identification by employers.
Implementing the Racial and Ethnic Category Changes: Before September 30, 2007, employers must redesign the questionnaires and/or self-identification forms used to solicit race and demographic information from employees and applicants. In addition, employers must modify their internal computer data systems to accommodate the new racial/ethnic categories. Note that employers do not need to apply the new racial/ethnic categories to current employees and are not required to resurvey their workforce. Employers may voluntarily do so, however. When completing the 2007 EEO-1 form, employers who do not resurvey should report as “Asian” all employees currently identified as “Asian/Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.”
Applicant Tracking Obligations
These changes apply only to the EEO-1 form and not to federal contractors’ applicant tracking obligations imposed by Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) regulations. OFCCP acknowledges that the new EEO-1 form will require changes in its applicant tracking regulations. However, OFCCP notes that “[b]efore any changes can be made, the proposed changes must be published and the public given the opportunity to comment.” The agency also will provide contractors with a reasonable transition period before the changes take effect.
Given that the EEOC published its changes to the EEO-1 form more than one year ago, OFCCP’s delay in proposing changes to its applicant tracking regulations is somewhat surprising. However, most federal contractors will likely modify their applicant tracking systems to match the new EEO-1 requirements even if the OFCCP has not officially amended its regulations.
Note: This article was published in the Dec/Jan 2007 issue of The Employment Law Authority.