GREETINGS FROM THE EEOC!
John Donovan, Fisher & Phillips LLP

Dealers across the country have been receiving letters from the EEOC pointing out that they have failed to file their EEO-1 Report (“Employer Information Report”) last year and reminding them that they are required by law to file the report by September 30 of this year and annually thereafter.  Many dealers have no idea what the EEOC is talking about.

The EEO-1 Report is an annual survey of an employer’s workforce which must be completed by employers who employ 100 or more employees, or who employ 50 or more employees and have a federal contract or subcontract in excess of $50,000.  This report has been required since the mid-1970s and is authorized by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. 

The Report is essentially a “snapshot” of your employees, broken down into ten major job groupings, which match specific groupings in the U.S. Census. The employees in each job grouping are then broken down further to reflect the race, ethnicity and sex of each incumbent.  The report is normally completed in the third quarter of each year and submitted to the Joint Reporting Committee before September 30.  

The data from each employer’s report is entered into a data base where it is compared with other companies in the same industry and in the same geographic area.  The government then uses this data for a number of purposes, including selecting contractors for audits of their affirmative action plans and other investigations. In some areas, the EEOC routinely asks employers to submit a copy of their most recent EEO-1 report in connection with the investigation of any discrimination charge.  Some states and municipalities ask to see the report when an employer bids in a contract. 

Many dealers who are subject to the EEO-1 reporting requirement have never filed a report with the Joint Reporting Committee.  In fact, in 2005, fewer than 2,000 of the approximately 21,000 dealers in the U. S. filed the report.  The law does not empower the EEOC to fine an employer or to impose any other penalty  for failing to file the report. But if an employer refuses to file the report, the EEOC can request that a federal court issue an order directing the employee to file it.

Because the letters being sent to dealers contain a unique “LoginID” and “Password,” we expect that the EEOC will track dealers’ compliance with the reporting requirement in the months ahead. Therefore, even if you decide not to file the report this year, you should begin to collect race and ethnicity information on all current employees as well as on new hires.  You should also code the various dealership jobs with the corresponding EEO-1 job grouping.  That way, if the EEOC sends a second letter demanding that your dealership file the report, you will be in a position to respond quickly with a properly completed survey.

If you have any questions about the report or your reporting obligation, or if you would like information concerning how to lawfully survey your workforce and how to properly classify your employees into the proper census job group, contact any F&P office and ask for a member of the Dealership Practice Group.
For more information contact Todd Fredrickson at Fisher & Phillips 303.218.3650, or contact the author directly at  jdonovan@laborlawyers.com or  404.231.1400.

Colorado Automobile Dealers Association
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