The deadline to submit EEO-1 data has been extended to May 31, 2019, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced today.
“Because the partial lapse in appropriations postponed opening the survey until early March, we are accordingly extending the deadline to file until May 31, 2019," says EEOC spokeswoman, Kimberly Smith-Brown. "We urge employers filing the EEO-1 to keep an eye on the EEOC’s website for further updates.”
The agency said the EEO-1 portal opening has also been postponed until March 2019 and that more details for 2018 EEO-1 filers, including the exact date of the portal opening, will be available on its EEO-1 website in the coming weeks.
“This extension should give employers the time needed to prepare these reports and avoid common mistakes. Even though the portal is not yet available, employers should use this time to start collecting the data and information necessary to complete the forms once the portal comes on line,” said Nancy Barnes, a partner in the Cleveland, Ohio office of Thompson Hine LLP.
The EEO-1 is an annual survey that requires all private employers with 100 or more employees and federal government contractors or first-tier subcontractors with 50 or more employees and a federal contract, subcontract or purchase order amounting to $50,000 or more to file the EEO-1 report. The filing of the report is required by federal law.
The report requires companies to provide employment data on full-time and part-time workers’ race/ethnicity whether through self-identification or visual observation, gender and job category. The report is based on a workforce payroll snapshot generally taken between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31.
The data provided is confidential and is used by the EEOC and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance to collect data from private employers and government contractors about women and minorities in their workforce. The agencies also use the EEO-1 data for civil rights enforcement and to analyze employment patterns, such as the representation of women and minorities within companies, industries or regions.
Penalties for noncompliance includes fines and jail time for willful false statements.
The reports are generally due no later than March 31, unless an extension has been put into place or an employer is granted an “undue hardship” exemption, and can be filed online. The deadline for finalizing EEO-1 reports was delayed last year due to employer requests, Barnes said.
Last year, the EEOC opened the EEO-1 reporting portal and filing process on Jan. 24. But, this year, with the EEOC employees in charge of updating and opening the portal furloughed for a little more than a month starting Dec. 22, 2018, it was widely believed that the previous 2019 filing deadline of March 31 would be pushed back.
EEO-1 reporting is a relatively routine process that has been a fixture of employment law since 1966, but recent events, even apart from the 2018-2019 federal government shutdown, have brought controversy to the reporting process. The Obama administration added pay reporting requirements to the EEO-1 as a means to fight pay discrimination. However, that move was blocked in 2017 by the Trump administration, which ordered an immediate stay of the pay data collection.
The EEOC says general inquiries can be emailed to E1.Techassistance@eeoc.gov.