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December 8, 2022

Ready to File Your EEO-1 Report? Here’s the Latest on EEO Categories

shades of blue rainbow with each end going into files

It’s that time of year again. Are you up to date on your EEO categories and ready to file that EEO-1 report? If you’re dragging your feet, we get it. When it’s data collection season, getting your compliance ducks in a row can be a challenge for even the most experienced HR professionals

You want to ensure your business stays compliant with all the latest hiring and recruitment regulations — you just don’t want to have to go back to school for a decade to get a masters, PhD and JD to do it. Yes, HR compliance can be complicated. No, it’s not the sexiest task in the world.

But when it comes to hiring and recruitment, it is crucial for businesses to stay compliant.

At Breezy, we may not be a law advisory firm, but we're here to support you with the information and tools you need to remain compliant. Keep in mind, the best source of information is always going to come from a certified legal professional — always check with one first before making any major changes to your processes.

Now, if you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get that EEO-1 report off your list, we’ve compiled the latest EEO categories along with some expert tips and best practices to help you get it done.

What we’ll cover:

  • What does the EEO category mean?
  • What are the EEO job categories?
  • EEO-1 best practices and common mistakes

What does the EEO category mean? And which employers are required to file

Since 1966, all businesses with over 100 employees have been legally required to file the Employer Information Report EEO-1 with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Federal contractors with 50 or more employees and a contract value of over $50,000 are also required to file a report. 

But what’s the actual purpose of these reports?

The EEOC was designed to make tangible moves towards a more equitable workplace and a big part of that is collecting data from real-life workplaces. This information not only helps the EEOC understand changes to the demographics of the workforce, it also helps them identify continuing challenges to equal opportunity in employment. 

From job segregation by race and gender to unequal pay, EEO-1 job data sheds light on the state of the American office.

Thanks to the EEOC, we can now analyze important trends such as how many female professionals are in the workforce. When the EEOC started collecting data in 1966, women made up barely 14% of professionals. But in 2013, that number skyrocketed to just over 53%.

Progress like that is now visible thanks to the types of reports you’re about to file. Of course, the data also shows us where there’s room to grow.

While women are entering the workforce in droves, they are restricted to lower-paying positions. The same is true for people of color. Even though members of the hispanic community made up 20.5% of service workers and nearly 30% of laborers, only 5.7% of them are in a professional role and only 7.4% are managers.

It’s a similar picture for African-Americans. While these individuals make up 23.3% of service workers and almost 19% of laborers, they aren’t afforded the same managerial or professional opportunities. Only 7.6% of black workers are business professionals and only 6.8% are officials or managers.

While the data may look grim at times, it helps shine a light on the areas where we as employers can do better.

What are the EEO job categories?

The EEOC aims to ensure fair and safe workplaces for all people, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. A big part of maintaining that compliance is EEO categories.

There are nine job categories, and categorization is usually based on: 

  • Responsibilities and duties
  • Knowledge and training
  • Skill level required by the job

By tracking these metrics, the EEOC can help ensure equal employment opportunity requirements are being met. Let’s zoom in on each EEO category and what it includes.

1. Executive/senior-level officials and managers

Split into two groups, the first tier includes the highest level positions within a company. From CEOs to CFOs, these top-of-the-org-chart officials manage and create policies, define company strategies and answer to the board of directors.

1.1 First/mid-level officials and managers

The second group includes workers who report to high-level officials. This includes roles like vice presidents, operational managers, education administrators, and human resource managers, all of whom are responsible for implementing the plans and strategies created by the senior-level executives. Many mid-level managers also oversee operations on a smaller scale, usually regionally or divisionally.

2. Professionals

​​This category includes roles that necessitate professional degrees, certifications, and considerable experience. These jobs include doctors, lawyers, analysts, engineers, and other positions.

3. Technicians

The jobs in this category require applied science skills learned through training programs or vocational work. Many of these positions require manual labor and technical expertise, whether you’re a radio operator, pharmacy tech, or dental hygienist.

4. Sales Workers

People who are directly involved with sales fall under this classification. Sales workers spend more time selling than doing other duties. Titles include retail workers, real estate agents, travel agents, telemarketers, and more.

5. Administrative support workers

These employees work in an office, often performing clerical duties like fielding phone calls, and filing paperwork. This could include paralegals, dispatchers, bank tellers, receptionists, and more.

6. Craft workers

Craft workers are trained to perform special skills and they typically hold niche jobs. From construction to mining and industrial work, these laborers hone their craft. Such positions include carpenters, auto mechanics, woodworkers, pipe layers, electricians, and more.

7. Operatives

Employees in this category are considered semi-skilled laborers. While their duties are less complex and require less training than craft workers, they also perform a wider range of duties with more varied skills. Many of these individuals operate heavy machinery, holding positions like engine assemblers, loading machine operators, bakers, trucklers, tool grinders, butchers, gas plant operators, and more.

8. Laborers and helpers

Workers in this category are defined as “unskilled,” following exact instructions to perform their labor. These roles require little training and lots of manual labor, including jobs like animal breeders, construction workers, groundskeepers, farm workers, vehicle cleaners, and more. 

9. Service workers

The final category includes all jobs in the service sector. While some require formal training, many jobs only require experience. These jobs include cooks, police officers, firefighters, dental assistants, bartenders, security guards, and more. 

Filing your EEO-1? Look out for these best practices and common mistakes

You’ve done your duty and submitted your EEO-1 report. Good job! 

Now what? It’s time to put that valuable data to good use. Follow these tips to make the most of your EEO reporting.

Tip #1. Don’t waste the data

“The EEO-1 Report provides insights into your workforce's diversity in a given time. Analyzing the results, you can set goals for employee diversity improvement,” explains Karolina Kijowska, Head of People at PhotoAiD.

Karolina believes employers should never waste their EEO data. Instead, use it as a roadmap to address inequities.

And if you want to take it a step farther, conduct a proactive pay equity audit, too. “Do not use the EEO-1 report as the only excuse to rethink your compensation strategy,” Karolina cautions. 

A pay audit will give you more actionable info. From there, you'll be ready to make compensation adjustments where necessary.

Tip #2. Don’t do it all yourself

HR compliance isn’t easy. Nunzio Ross, CEO and Founder of Majesty Coffee, says employers shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when they need it.

“Small and medium-sized businesses with no dedicated HR teams [often] employ professional employer organizations' assistance for their EEO-1 report,” Nunzio explains.

PEOs help smaller companies with critical HR tasks and ensure compliance with employment regulations,” taking a lot of pressure off of business owners. Not only does this expedite the reporting process, it also frees up valuable time. Win-win!

Tip #3. Don’t accidentally exclude employees

Nunzio also cautions employers against accidentally excluding employees based on filing errors.

“One of the most common mistakes in EEO-1 reporting is the exclusion of employees who don't self-identify their race, gender, or ethnicity,” Nunzio explains. The EEOC has guidelines that tell employers how to deal with these cases. 

“For example, [some employees] should undergo a visual identification process, but some employers remove them from the report instead.”

Tip #4. Don’t bin the report

Jonathan Merry, the Co-founder of Crypto Monday, advises employers to hold onto their report. 

“After you’ve submitted the report, make sure you keep a copy for at least one year for audit trail purposes. This can be mandatory or optional depending on your location, and the minimum duration can be longer in some areas. In any case, it’s still a good idea to do it for a few key reasons,” Jonathan explains.

“Keeping copies and filing them accordingly will help you stay compliant with pertinent labor laws. It will also provide you with a reference for monitoring any shifts in your hiring practices, allowing you to take a proactive stance toward improving equality in your workplace.” 

Sounds like a smart move to us. 

Use EEO categories to get a reading on company culture

While it’s certainly not the most thrilling task on your to-do list, remember that all this data collection and report filing is here to serve a higher purpose.

By taking the time to gather the data and file your EEO-1 report, you’re putting your business in a position to improve workplace diversity, inclusion and productivity. 

Plus, no one wants to be on the government’s bad side. With the right approach, taking action on your EEO-1 data can keep you in the EEOC’s good books while elevating your workplace culture, ensuring that everyone is treated equally no matter their race, gender, or sexual orientation.

When you’re ready to automate your recruitment compliance, Breezy is here to help. Our simple-to-use EEOC/OFCCP compliance feature can keep you on top of reporting, while providing an awesome experience for applicants and candidates. Try it yourself with a free 14-day trial.