EEOC Efforts Toward Inclusivity

As a step toward promoting equity and inclusion, the EEOC has added a nonbinary “X” gender option to the voluntary self-identification questions that are part of the intake process for filing a discrimination charge. The EEOC recognizes this as an opportunity to extend this important gesture of inclusion to members of the LGBTQI+ community. The Biden-Harris Administration also recently announced many areas of change that will further promote visibility and equality for transgender and non-binary Americans.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Addition of “X” Gender Markers

Including an alternative nonbinary “X” option in lieu of the existing “male” and “female” options helps reflect the full range of gender identities. EEOC Chair Charlotte Burrows stated that “…it is especially important to make clear that in advancing the EEOC’s mission to prevent and remedy employment discrimination, we must serve all workers, including those who do not identify as exclusively male or female. Our public-facing charge forms now make clear that we respect that diversity.”

Current EEO-1 Reporting Form Remains Unchanged

The EEO-1 report requires employment data and is mandated by federal statute. This compliance survey is organized by race and ethnicity, gender, and job category. For the time being, the federal government has not yet made any updates to the gender options on the EEO-1 survey. There is speculation that this may happen under the Biden-Harris Administration. The EEOC has already created a new page on its website with information on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) discrimination.

Additional EEOC Data Collections

Until the EEOC adds a nonbinary option to the EEO-1 survey, employers are required to report all employees as either male or female, even if an employee chooses not to identify as either of those options.

In the meantime, the advice from the EEOC for employers who want to collect nonbinary gender information is noted in their FAQ document. Nonbinary gender information can be recorded in the Comments section on the Certification Page and should be prefaced as “Additional Employee Data.” 

Options for Collecting Data Through Cadient

Cadient’s Candidate Experience (CE), Onboarding, and standard reports are designed to correlate with the existing EEO-1 categories. It is always possible to configure custom EEO questions for the CE and Onboarding and customize reporting data that aligns with the information collected.

Purpose of Data Collection

The EEOC requires private employers covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to file the EEO-1 Component Report. The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) also requires this report data for government contractors and is used to monitor their affirmative action obligations. 

This legal obligation to submit annual workforce demographic data is used by the EEOC to investigate charges of employment discrimination and to provide information about the employment status of underrepresented groups such as minorities and women. 

More information for private-sector employees is on the EEOC website for EEO-1 Component 1 data collection. Further details about LGBTQI+ discrimination in the workplace are also available on the EEOC website. 

 

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Dana Wazny

Legal Analyst, Product Compliance