The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will start to collect annual EEO-1 data from covered employers in April, according to a recent agency announcement. The EEO-1 survey asks for the number of employees who work for a covered business sorted by job category, race, ethnicity and gender.
Under federal law, businesses with at least 100 employees and federal contractors with at least 50 employees and a contract of $50,000 or more with the federal government generally must file the EEO-1 form each year. The EEOC uses information about the number of women and minorities companies employ to support civil rights enforcement and analyze employment patterns, according to the agency.
The agency initially planned to open collections in 2020 for employers’ 2019 data but decided to pause the process due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Recognizing the impact that the public health emergency was having on workplaces across America and the challenges that both employers and employees were facing, the EEOC delayed the collections until 2021 to allow EEO filers to be better positioned to provide accurate, valid and reliable data in a timely manner,” the EEOC announced on Jan. 12.
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More Details Expected
The EEOC said filers should start preparing their data for submission, but the exact opening date and deadline will be announced later on the agency’s home page and a new dedicated website for EEO data collections. A notification letter will also be sent to filers. Additional resources and a support team will be available to assist filers when data collection opens.
The annual submission deadline is usually March 31, but collection this year will begin in April. Covered employers will have to file data for both 2019 and 2020, since the agency did not collect the 2019 data last year.
No Pay-Data Collection
The EEOC has said it does not intend to collect controversial pay data from Component 2 of the EEO-1 form, which was the source of a heated legal dispute in recent years. The agency will collect data for the EEO-1 form’s well-established Component 1, which asks businesses to list their employees by job category, race, ethnicity and sex. Component 2 of the form requested employees’ hours worked and pay information from W-2 forms, broken down by the same categories. The agency collected this data for 2017 and 2018 but decided not to collect it after that, concluding that the burden imposed on employers to gather the information outweighs the usefulness of the data for the agency.
Biden Likely to Ramp Up Pay-Equity Fight
President-elect Joe Biden could revive pay-data collection, though priority changes at the EEOC aren’t expected to happen quickly. On the campaign trail, Biden made addressing gender-based pay inequality a key plank of his outreach to women. Among other topics, he campaigned on restoring Obama administration rules requiring employers to submit pay data on their EEO-1 forms. The information is intended to give government agencies better insight into pay disparities and help them to better target enforcement. Employers that opposed the expanded data collection, however, said the W-2 income numbers don’t provide adequate information about pay disparities.