Beginning September 2007, employers will be required to use the new EEO-1 Report (the "Report"), the government form for reporting of ethnic and racial information. After a lengthy public comment period, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently released the Report in its final version. The changes in the Report are summarized below. As with the old form, the Report must be filed by (1) employers with 100 or more employees, or (2) employers with federal government contracts of $50,000 or more and 50 or more employees. A sample of the new Report is publicly available on the EEOC’s website at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeo1/eeo1_2007_d.pdf.
Changes to Ethnic/Racial Categories
The new Report strongly endorses employee self-identification of race and ethnicity. Employers may use employment records or visual observation only if employees decline to self-identify. In fact, the EEOC has published an acceptable self-identification statement that employers may use for the purposes of gathering ethnic/racial information. The EEOC recommends that employers use any available opportunity to collect self-identification data from their workforce. For example, if employers ask employees to update their contact information, employers can use that opportunity to seek self-identification of racial and ethnic data from them. In addition, the EEOC recommends that employers have in place a system by which newly hired employees are presented with an opportunity to self-identify their racial and ethnic background.
The Report now includes a new category for "two or more races."
The "Asian and Pacific Islander" category has been divided into two separate categories: "Asian" and "Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander."
The "Black" category has been renamed "Black and African American," and the "Hispanic" category has been renamed "Hispanic or Latino." In addition, the new Report classifies Hispanics and Latinos as an ethnic category for which no race data needs to be reported. Hence, employers only need to report race data for employees who do not identify as Hispanic or Latino. If an employee self-identifies as "Hispanic," he or she should be reported as "Hispanic" even though the employee may also claim to be in a different race. If any non-Hispanic employee identifies several different races, the employer should include the employee in the new "two or more races" category.
Changes to Job Categories
Two changes in job categories have been made to the Report. First, the new Report divides the "Officer and Managers" category into two levels: "Executive/Senior Level Officials" and "First/Mid-Level Officials and Managers." This change was made to avoid including line supervisors and first-level managers with senior executives. The division is based on an employee’s responsibility and influence within the organization. For purposes of classification, executive/senior level officials and managers are defined as those who plan, direct, and formulate policy, set strategy, and provide overall direction. In larger organizations, these employees are considered within two reporting levels of the CEO. First/mid-level officials and managers are defined as those who direct implementation or operations within specific parameters set by executive/senior level officials and managers and oversee day-to-day operations.
The other change moves business and financial occupations from the "Officials and Managers" category to the "Professionals" category. The purpose of this revision is to improve data for analyzing trends in mobility of minorities and women within the "Officials and Managers" category.
New Survey of Current Employees
As noted above, employers who must file the Report will also be required to use the new form for the filing period ending September 30, 2007. In preparing the data for the new form, employers must use employment figures for a pay period from July 1 through September 30, 2007. In order to obtain valid information per the new classifications, the EEOC suggests that employers conduct a new survey of their workforces during the summer of 2007. However, the EEOC does not require employers to conduct this new survey of current employees for the September 30, 2007 reporting period, but employers will be required to do so before the filing date in September 2008.
Employers should consult experienced labor counsel concerning these new regulations.