Last year, employers got a break from submitting EE0-1 reports for 2019 due to the pandemic. Now, the respite is over. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that EEO reporting will resume, starting in April—and that employers will be required to file reports for both 2019 and 2020 at that time.
Although the basic reporting requirements appear unchanged, that can’t be said for the submission process. Here’s what you need to know in order to maintain compliance, as well as additional EEOC changes that likely lie ahead.
A Quick Review of EEO-1 Requirements
As you know, the purpose of the EEO-1 report is to collect workforce data about gender and race/ethnicity, organized into various job groupings. Specific data is confidential, but aggregate data is shared with the public.
Private employers with 100 or more employees (as well as federal contractors with 50 or more employees and at least $50,000 in contracts) are required to complete this annual report.
EEO-1 reports require employers to provide data collected from a given “workforce snapshot period,” which may be any pay period from October through December of the year in question. Employers choose their snapshot period; only workers on the payroll during that period are included in the report.
What’s New This Year
Several EEO-1 requirements are different in 2021. For one thing, the exact timing of the report submission period—including the opening date and final deadline—has yet to be announced. The EEOC will be posting the date on its homepage, eeoc.gov.
In addition, employers will be required to submit their information on a new, dedicated data collection website, eeocdata.org, which is intended to be more user-friendly.
Employers that have filed reports in the past will receive notification of their company ID and passcode via U.S. mail. Those that are new to the process must register on the new website to receive that information.
The website will also provide resources to employers, including the EEOC Filer Support Team, which will be available to offer assistance when needed.
How to Get Ready
The EEOC recommends that employers should begin gathering the data they will need to provide now. In other words:
- Confirm that you are required to complete the form due to your workforce head count.
- Determine which report is applicable to your business. Single-establishment employers complete the standard 100 form. Multi-establishment companies complete separate reports for each location with 50 or more employees, one for their headquarters, and one consolidated report including all worksites and employees.
- Select one pay period within the applicable fourth quarter (October, November, or December) of the survey year—or years (2019 and 2020) in this case.
- Confirm you have collected self-identification forms and/or data for each worker employed during the snapshot periods. (The EEOC encourages employers to collect voluntary self-identification forms from all employees, but data can also be collected via I-9 forms and visual observation.)
- Organize the data by employee location, job category, ethnicity, race and gender.
- Keep an eye out for your letter from the EEOC, and periodically check eeoc.gov and/or eeocdata.org for updates.
Will Employers Have to File EEO-1 Component 2 Reports in 2021?
Many employers are wondering if the Biden administration will reinstitute EEOC pay-data reporting requirements under EEO-1 Component 2, an Obama administration initiative that was briefly in effect before the Trump administration paused it.
EEO-1 Component 2 collected compensation data and hours worked by employee gender, race/ethnicity, job category, organizing data under 12 salary compensation bands.
Numerous experts believe that the Biden administration will resurrect pay-data collection as part of its commitment to pursue pay equity—among other issues.
More Changes Are Likely to Follow
It’s anticipated that Biden’s EEOC agenda will focus more on systemic racism, LGBTQ rights, age discrimination, and gig worker rights than the previous administration did.
However, change isn’t likely to happen overnight. The EEO Commission, which is composed of five appointed members, still has a Republican majority, although President Biden did appoint its two Democratic members as leader and co-leader.
Unless Republican members resign before their terms are over, the EEOC will continue to have a Republican majority until mid-2022, at which time we can expect to see new requirements for employers.
Of course, your HR software is one of the best tools you have when it comes to staying compliant.
At EPAY, we specialize in helping employers managing an hourly workforce maintain labor compliance, in terms of EEOC, wage and hour, OSHA regs, and more. We not only help our customers prepare their EEO-1 forms, but provide numerous reports and safeguards that help keep them out of trouble and out of court. Take our 2-minute tour to see how!