EEO Data Collections Delayed Until 2021 Due to COVID-19

May 07, 2020

Concerns over the COVID-19 public health emergency prompted the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to push back its annual and biennial EEO data collections until 2021, the agency announced May 7. This delay impacts the 2019 EEO-1 Component 1 (Employer Information Report), and the 2020 EEO-3 (Local Report) and EEO-5 (Elementary-Secondary Staff Information Report).

Generally, the EEOC collects workforce data from employers who have more than 100 employees. However, different thresholds may apply to certain employers, including federal contractors. The EEOC’s data collections seek information relating to the gender, race and ethnicity of employees in the workforce. Employers meeting the EEOC’s reporting thresholds have a legal obligation to provide the EEOC with the requested data.

As some employers may have noticed, the 2019 EEO-1 survey has not been opened by the EEOC yet. The EEOC only had approval from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to collect data through 2018. Thus, the EEOC is in the process of seeking approval from the OMB to collect EEO-1 surveys for 2019, 2020 and 2021. However, the COVID-19 public health emergency has impacted those plans. The EEOC has recognized the challenges being faced by both employers and employees alike and decided that it would be prudent to delay its data collections until 2021.

For employers who annually file EEO-1 surveys, under normal circumstances, their 2019 EE0-1 surveys would have been due by May 31, 2020. However, the EEOC’s announcement means that they will not have to submit an EEO-1 to the agency in 2020. The EEOC anticipates collecting two years of data (2019 and 2020) in March 2021. Thus, employers should still collect their 2019 data and plan on submitting it in 2021. The EEOC has indicated that it will provide more precise dates and instructions in the future.

Please contact Reed Russell, Karleen Green, Taylor Crousillac or any other member of Phelps’ Labor and Employment team if you have any questions or need compliance advice and guidance. For more information related to COVID-19, please also see Phelps’s COVID-19: Client Resource Portal.