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EEO-1 Form FAQs and Tips


Consequences

What are the consequences if your EEO-1 Form isn’t filed correctly or there are mistakes on the EEO-1 Form?


If you’re a federal contractor and required to have an Affirmative Action Plan, your chances of it being audited are directly related to how you fill out the EEO-1 Form. The OFCCP uses the EEO-1 Form to choose which company locations to audit. If you’re a multi-establishment employer, that is, your employees are located in more than one building, each location with more than 50 employees in it is a potential target for an Affirmative Action Audit. A multi-establishment employer should coordinate its Affirmative Action Plans with the number of locations reported on its EEO-1 Forms.


The most important consequence may be how your Affirmative Action audit is conducted. If you don’t correctly fill out the EEO-1 Form, you may unintentionally expose your employer to an audit of one of its Affirmative Action plans: and it may be the wrong plan with the wrong people in it counted in the wrong places.


Company Identification

If the employer is a federal contractor or subcontractor, make sure that Section C, Question 3, is answered Yes on the Single Establishment form or (for multi-establishment employers) the Consolidated Form. And if you’re not a federal contractor, you don’t want to be contacted by the OFCCP for your Affirmative Action Plan, so make sure that question is answered No.


Always use the correct legal company name and not business divisions that aren’t legal names when identifying the location. It’s okay for a multi-establishment employer to use the same company name for the “parent” and each “establishment”, if that’s how you are legally incorporated.


Location/Establishment

What’s the difference between a Location and an Establishment? The EEO-1 Form uses the term Establishment. The OFCCP uses the term Location. They intend both words to mean the same thing: a place of work owned or rented by an employer.


Unless the employee works at home, an employee that works at one site should not be counted on an EEO-1 form that has a different address on it, even if that location is next door or there are only a few employees there.


An employer with more than one work location must report employees where they actually work. However, in the Affirmative Action Plan, employees that report to an employee at another location are counted in the AAP of that other location, despite being reported on the EEO-1 Form of the place the employee really works at.


If an employee works from “home” or doesn’t have an office, the employee must be counted on the EEO-1 Form where the employee’s boss or work unit is located. Sometimes an employer with an extensive sales force may have to roll this up a couple of levels before finding a location report to count the employee on.


Employees

Is every employee supposed to be counted on the EEO-1 Form? You should not include any employee hired for a fixed period of time or for the duration of a specific project. There are special rules for leased employees. Summer or vacation hires, coops, interns, and temps are probably not employees for EEO-1 Form purposes. And if you don’t have to count that employee on the EEO-1 Form, there may be a good reason not to include that employee in your Affirmative Action Plan.


EEO-1 Categories

There are nine EEO-1 categories. The first, Officials and Managers, has two sub-categories. What if you count your employees in the wrong EEO-1 category?


A federal contractor’s Affirmative Action Plan uses the EEO-1 category as its basic building block. Unless your AAP is audited, no one who receives your EEO-1 Form knows whether you assigned your jobs to the correct EEO-1 category. But this is very obvious during an audit of your Affirmative Action Plan.


Always assign an EEO-1 category to an employee’s job title and not to an individual employee.


Always assign the same job title to only one EEO-1 category. During an audit of your Affirmative Action plan, the OFCCP compares people in the same job title and if they’re in different EEO-1 categories, it’s going to be difficult to explain that.


Race and Gender

The Government recommends you use a self-identification form to collect race and gender data, but an employer could collect the data other ways.


What if an employee declines to tell you either their race or gender or you don’t use a self-identification form? There’s no column on the EEO-1 Form for “unknown” race or gender, so you’re going to have to make your best guess.


What if you’re not sure? Use whatever resources you have: “visual inspection” (your best guess, or someone else’s, by looking at the person), the employee’s resume, your or the supervisor’s knowledge of the employee, the I-9 form, even Facebook! It’s okay if it turns out you were wrong, as long as you made your best guess.


What if the employee fills out a self-identification form but you don’t think the information is accurate? An OFCCP FAQ says that an employee’s declaration of race or gender should not be questioned or overridden based on visual inspection. The FAQ forgets to tell you that as long as you have independent information, not just based on visual inspection, you should override the incorrect information. Remember that the EEO-1 Form is a federal form and you have to certify that the report is accurate.


Assistance

If you have other questions or need help filling out your EEO-1 Form, you can contact the EEOC helpline at www.eeoc.gov, or just contact Mike!