The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) took aggressive enforcement measures this week by filing suit against 15 employers that allegedly failed to submit mandatory EEO-1 workforce demographic reports in prior years, including 2021 and 2022. The lawsuits were brought in federal courts across 10 states, including New Jersey, New York, and Arizona. The EEOC seeks court orders compelling the employers to file their missing EEO-1 reports and such further relief that the courts deem necessary and proper. The EEOC’s press release can be found here and our coverage on LinkedIn can be found here.

Private sector employers with at least 100 employees and certain federal contractors are required to report workplace demographic data on an annual basis to the EEOC in the form of EEO-1 Component 1 reports (“EEO-1 Reports”). Employers must collect and report job classification, sex, and race or ethnicity data of all employees in accordance with the EEOC’s specifications. The EEOC uses this data for analytics, research, and enforcement of anti-discrimination laws. Our “Back to Basics” primer details EEO-1 reporting requirements and best practices for employers.

EEO-1 Component 1 data collection for 2023 is currently underway with an upcoming deadline of 11:00 p.m. ET on June 4, 2024. If an employer misses the reporting deadline, the EEOC will issue a “Notice of Failure to File,” which will instruct the employer to submit their data no later than July 9, 2024. After this second deadline passes, the EEOC will no longer accept data from the 2023 reporting period. Although there are no financial penalties, the EEOC has demonstrated its willingness to seek judicial relief and employers should take all necessary steps to comply. The EEOC appears to be focusing on employers who have repeatedly failed to file EEO-1 Reports in prior years.

Employers who are required to submit EEO-1 Reports should take immediate steps to prepare their report by the June 4 deadline. Ballard Spahr’s Labor and Employment Group regularly works with companies on employment law compliance issues. We have experience assessing employer responsibilities for proper reporting to state and federal government agencies, updating policies and procedures, training management staff, and working collaboratively with human resources departments and in-house counsel on equal opportunity employment matters.