EEOC Delays EEO-1 Data Reporting Deadline to 2021 Due to COVID-19

Q.  What is the new deadline to file an EEO-1 report?

A.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced in a press release on May 7, 2020 that it will postpone its annual collection of EEO-1 demographic data until 2021, in light of the circumstances surrounding the novel coronavirus outbreak. This comes at a time when many employers were already waiting for a determination as to when the EEOC would begin collecting reports from 2019.

Since 1966, the EEOC has annually required EEO-1 filers to submit demographic data (Component 1) summarized by race, ethnicity, gender and job category. All private employers with at least 100 employees and federal contractors with at least 50 employees and a federal contract of $50,000 must file an annual EEO-1 report. The EEOC’s primary purpose of obtaining such information is to assess workplace representation patterns for minorities and women and to support its civil rights enforcement efforts.

In 2019, the EEO-1 reporting was delayed because under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), the EEOC sought approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to request a three-year PRA approval of EEO-1 Component 1 data (i.e., 2019, 2020, and 2021). Then, on March 23, 2020, the agency submitted another request for OMB approval, but with a new OMB Control Number for EEO-1 Component 1 data.

Note: The EEOC announced to the OMB that it would only seek approval to collect EEO-1 Component 1 data, and not EEO-1 compensation and hours worked data (Component 2) because of the “high estimated burden associated with adding pay data collection to the EEO-1.” Component 2 data was first introduced in 2016 during the Obama administration, and the OMB approved the collection of both Component 1 and Component 2 data for the calendar years 2017 and 2018 under a combined OMB Control Number. The EEOC under the current administration has explicitly stated that it does not intend to continue collecting Component 2 data.

In its official notice issued on May 8, 2020, the EEOC stated that “pending approval by OMB, the EEOC would expect to begin collecting the 2019 EEO-1 Component 1 along with the 2020 EEO-1 Component 1 in March 2021 and will notify filers of the precise date the surveys will open as soon as it is available.” This announcement should alleviate any potential anxieties that employers may have had regarding the uncertainty of when their EEO-1 reports would be due. That said, although not required to submit 2019 and 2020 employee data until March 2021, employers should not remain idle. Rather, employers should begin preparing their EEO-1 reports from 2019 by using workforce demographic data from any payroll period in October, November or December 2019. Any other questions about filing requirements can be found on the EEOC’s website here.

Jonathan Gilman