There are actually a lot of HR folks or business managers that do not know the answer to this question. However, if you have an employee population of 100 or more, or 50 employees and a government contract, then you know that September 30th is the date on which your EEO-1 report is due. Yes, the Federal government wants to know the composition of your workforce. This is how they get all their statistics, you know the “big data” they use. It is also handy information if they ever decide to sue you.
Who needs to file?
The companies that are required to file are those that have 100 or more employees. Unless you are a government contractor, then if you have 50 or more employees and a contract (or subcontract) worth $50,000 or more you are required to file too. Financial institutions that have government deposits or issue US savings bonds must also report. A few organizations are exempt. These include state and local governments, Indian tribes and schools. They have separate reports to file, as do unions, so they are not getting off entirely. Establishments in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and other American Protectorates are not required to file.
By the way, if you are a company that is broken into a lot of smaller companies with common ownership you have to file as well “if the company is owned or affiliated with another company, or there is centralized ownership, control or management (such as central control of personnel policies and labor relations) so that the group legally constitutes a single enterprise, and the entire enterprise employs a total of 100 or more employees.”
How to file
In this electronic age the government does not want you to file by submitting a paper form. They would just have to have an employee put all that information into the system. Not efficient at all. So they want you to submit your information electronically. You can go to this page to find the electronic form. (Note: As of this writing the 2015 form is not open yet, but will be soon. You may want to bookmark the page.) This page does include instructions for those companies that are First Time Filers (FTFs). Aren’t you thrilled you have your own government acronym now!
What is filed?
To get the employment data needed you pull the information for all full-time and part-time employees from one pay period in July, August or September of the current filing year.
These employees are then reported by the following categories:
EEO-1 job classification, which include Executive/Senior Level Officials and Managers; First/Mid-Level Officials and Managers; Professionals; Technicians; Sales Workers; Administrative Support Workers; Craft Workers; Operatives; Laborers and Helpers; and Service Workers.
Additionally these employees are further identified as males and females and then by their race/ethnicity. The EEOC does not want you to just guess at that last category. You need to give employees the opportunity to self-identify. The EEOC does not provide a form to do so but offers a sample here. (Note: Don’t pay attention to the application information; you are collecting data from existing employees, not applicants.) If your employee refuses to self-identify you can then base your decision on your visual assessment. Everyone must be identified, as the EEOC says, there are no options for “unknown” or “missing” responses.
Consequences for not filing
As you might expect there are consequences for not filing a report. If you refuse to file a report you can be compelled by the Attorney General to do so. If you file false information you can be fined or imprisoned. If you think “How will they ever know?” remember the IRS has all your tax records.
So avoid the consequences of being a scofflaw and have your EEO-1 completed and submitted by September 30th. For you FTFs you need to get started now getting your employees self-identified. It may take time to get those forms back.
Photo credit: Stuart Miles