Hiring & Recruiting

EEO-1 Revisions: What You Need to Know … And Have to Do

A decades-old government report, due each September and covering 50 million workers, finally gets revised. Here’s what you have to do, starting this fall:

Next week marks the start of September. And that marks kids back in school, leaves turning … and the annual EEO-1 Report.

This report to the federal government is due by September 30 from every company with more than 100 employees, or with more than 50 employees and $50,000 in federal contracts. Those two categories encompass a huge slice of the American workforce … more than 40,000 companies, in nearly a quarter-million locations, employing 50 million workers.

Part of the government’s equal employment opportunity effort, EEO-1 asks employers to report the demographic composition of their workforce. Workers are slotted into nine job categories, with their numbers then counted by racial and ethnic identity.

The data charts not only the upward movement of women and minorities as they climb the job ladder but also the not-so-upward movement in some companies and industries. The latter information becomes the basis for enforcement efforts aimed at bringing equality to every workplace.

Officially called the “Employer Information Report,” EEO-1 has been around in its current form since 1966. Now changes are being implemented to reflect demographic realities that didn’t exist four decades ago. The changes will not affect your filings this September. The old format will still be used. But the new report will be required in September 2007.

Since the numbers you put down next September will be a snapshot of your workforce as it develops over the next year, you’ll need to start collecting information in new ways very soon.

These changes will be made in EEO-1:

  • Adding a new category titled “Two or more races, not Hispanic or Latino”;
  • Deleting the “Asian and Pacific Islanders” category;
  • Adding a new category titled “Asians, not Hispanic or Latino”;
  • Adding a new category titled “Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, not Hispanic or Latino”;
  • Extending EEO-1 data collection by race and ethnicity to the State of Hawaii; and
  • Strongly endorsing employee self-identification of race and ethnicity, as opposed to visual identification by employers.

That last point means that if you use a form for employees to self-identify, it needs to be revised to match the new categories. Importantly, current workers will not have to be “re-identified,” though employers can take this step voluntarily.

Seemingly “Stuck” in Middle Management

Among the most significant changes, the former job categorization scheme classified workers simply as either management or nonmanagement. The new EEO-1 Report:

  • Divides “Officials and Managers” into two levels: “Executive/Senior Level Officials and Managers” and “First/Mid-Level Official and Managers.”
  • Moves nonmanagerial business and financial occupations from the “Officials and Managers” category to the “Professionals” category.

These changes were made, says EEOC, because they’ll help identify groups “stuck” in middle-management and seemingly unable to reach the highest levels of their organizations. Evidence that this happens comes from recent EEO-1 data, showing minorities rising fast in management but still underrepresented at the tops of companies.

Additionally, the data show women have a great chance of being managers in some industries, such as legal services and air transport. But their chances seem limited in others, including full-service restaurants and nursing care facilities.

The new scheme can benefit employers, as it will more accurately show how well diversity is being implemented in their business sectors … and how much ahead or behind they are in doing it themselves.