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Ask the Experts: Gathering Race and Ethnicity Information for the EEO-1 Report | JRW Associates, Inc., a Raleigh Benefit Advisory Firm

Question: What is the best way to get ethnicity and race information for each employee for the EEO-1 report?

Answer: Self-identification is the preferred method for gathering the required information for the EEO-1 report. As an employer, you are required to ask employees to self-identify if they wish; however, employees are not required to self-identify. If an employee declines to self-identify, you must still report their race and ethnic information from employment records, observer identification, or other available information.

While the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) does not endorse a particular self-identification form, two sample forms may be found on their website. Additionally, the EEOC provides the following sample language for employers to use regarding the voluntary nature of self-identification:

The employer is subject to certain governmental recordkeeping and reporting requirements for the administration of civil rights laws and regulations. In order to comply with these laws, the employer invites employees to voluntarily self-identify their race or ethnicity. Submission of this information is voluntary and refusal to provide it will not subject you to any adverse treatment. The information obtained will be kept confidential and may only be used in accordance with the provisions of applicable laws, executive orders, and regulations, including those that require the information to be summarized and reported to the federal government for civil rights enforcement. When reported, data will not identify any specific individual.

EEO-1 data for the previous year is due by March 31 of the current year and must be submitted on the EEOC’s EEO-1 survey web portal.

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