HR How-To: The EEO-1 - Abel HR

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HR How-To: The EEO-1

Small business owners may have received a letter in the mail from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) about an EEO-1 survey. It looks intimidating and is full of government-speak with lots of forms, but is mandatory for compliance.

This year’s survey is due back on May 31, 2019, an extension granted because of the federal government shutdown that lasted until Jan. 25, 2019. The HR professionals at Abel HR, a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) can help small business owners cut through the complicated directions and multiple forms required.

What is it?

The EEO-1, better known as the Employer Information Report EEO-1, is a means for the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to collect data from companies categorized by race/ethnicity, gender and job category.

The agency, which has been using the EEO-1 report since 1996, uses the information to “support civil rights enforcement and to analyze employment patterns, such as the representation of women and minorities within companies, industries or regions.” The data they collect from companies – with the exception of federal government prime contractors or first-tier subcontractors – is never made public, and even for those excluded businesses, folks have to jump through a lot of hoops (including making a date with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs in the US Department of Labor) to get the information.

Who Has to File?

Deciding who has to file is based in part on the size of your company and/or are contracted to a certain dollar amount by the federal government. Per the EEOC, criteria for annual filings include:

  • Subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, companies with 100 or more employees; or
  • Subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, companies with fewer than 100 employees if the company is owned by or corporately affiliated with another company and the entire enterprise employs a total of 100 or more employees; or
  • Federal government prime contractors or first-tier subcontractors subject to Executive Order 11246, as amended, companies with 50 or more employees and a prime contract or first-tier subcontract amounting to $50,000 or more (note you must meet both size and the $50,000 threshold for this iteration)

Abel HR’s human resource professionals can help you figure out if you are required to file and help you manage the process, which can include multiple reports, especially if your business has more than one location.

Multiple Business Locations

Say you have outposts in several locations – known to the EEOC as a multi-establishment company – you will be required to submit a separate report for your headquarters, a separate report for each establishment of the company with 50 or more employees, a separate report for each establishment with fewer than 50 employees, and a consolidated report that includes all employees. If you are all in the same building, you’re good to go with just the one report.

A note for those with international employees: When performing your headcounts/contract tally to determine your eligibility, the EEOC notes that you do NOT include establishments that are outside of the United States or the District of Columbia.

Do I Include All of My Employees?

The EEOC report notes that both full and part-time employees are included in EEO-1 reporting. Contractors and teleworkers should also be included in this figure if they are employed by you and simply work offsite. They should be counted in the tally for the site in which they are associated, their “home base” if you will.

Abel HR can help you determine if all of your employees are classified correctly and then assist with the counting and reporting.

Where Do I Find the Information that They Need?

The EEOC encourages you to use data that captures your employees from “one pay period in October, November or December of the current survey year.” The agency notes that “self-identification is the preferred method of identifying the race and ethnic information necessary for the EEO-1 report.” In the event that an employee declines to self-identify, guessing is still discouraged (yes, that’s an actual issue that they address in their instructions!) and they instead suggest that “employment records or observer observation may be used.”

Abel HR can manage all of your employee data with our Human Resources Information System. This user-friendly platform can be completely customized with all of the onboarding information, including race and ethnic information.

If you need any piece of information about an employee, with just a few clicks of your mouse, you can pull it up. Further, you can run detailed reports, analyze trends, and run just about any other type of HR function in mere seconds.

When is This All Due?

The survey, as it is known, opened recently and will stay open until May 31st. While this deadline may feel far away, we implore you to start pulling together your data as soon as possible. The process itself is pretty nuanced and there are lots of opportunities for you to get warning messages that can derail your filing efforts.

Do You Have More Guidance?

Now, if we’re being completely honest, this is really just a very much top-level overview of what filing the EEO-1 will entail and the many forms that it may entail. For a full list of instructions, and more details on what you’ll need to gather and include in your filing, we recommend that you take a look at the EEO-1 instruction manual or call Abel’s HR pros who are a resource to turn to for help when filling out the EEO-1 and remain in compliance.

Abel HR is licensed and registered in the state of New Jersey, but are certified to operate in multiple states across the country. Abel HR takes its responsibility to its clients very seriously and obtained Certified Professional Employer Organization (CPEO) accreditation from the IRS.  We are also an active member of our industry regulatory body, the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO).


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