This week, the EEOC officially opened its EEO-1 survey process for 2016. The EEO-1 form requires employers who meet qualifying thresholds to provide certain data about their workforces (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, job classifications/categories, etc.) to the EEOC.

Who must comply? 1) Private employers with 100 or more employees; 2) private employers with fewer than 100 employees, if the company is owned by/affiliated with another company such that the enterprise employs 100 or more employees; and 3) certain prime and first-tier subcontractors of the federal government who have contracts totaling $50,000 or more.

[Image credit: Department of Justice]
EEOC Commissioner Jenny R. Yang
[Image credit: Department of Justice]

You may be thinking to yourself: Self, this seems like a lot of complicated paperwork, and I am not going to do it. There are (at least) three excellent reasons why you should!

First, it’s required by law. If your business meets one of the thresholds above, both Title VII itself and federal regulations require you to complete the EEO-1. Failing to complete the EEO-1 may well result in the EEOC going into federal court to compel your compliance.

Second, it’s not (technically) paperwork. The EEO-1 is submitted electronically (unless your business faces what the EEOC calls “extreme circumstances where Internet access is not available” and gets EEOC permission to submit paper forms).

Third, EEOC uses the data generated from EEO-1 as part of its ongoing enforcement efforts — for example, analyzing employment patterns within particular industries, regions, etc. Providing the required data, in theory, helps the EEOC to make these decisions and analyses with a more accurate picture of the workforce.

September 30th is the filing deadline. Have questions? See the EEOC’s FAQ page on the EEO-1 process here.

This article originally appeared on the Fox Rothschild website. The information in this legal alert is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as specific legal advice.

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