EEO-1 Component 2 Filing - What You Need to Know
By Lehr Middlebrooks Vreeland & Thompson, P.C.
August 1, 2019
The website for the EEO-1 Component 2 online filing system is open, complete with long-awaited sample forms, fairly straightforward instructions, and answers to frequently asked questions. The EEOC contracted with National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago to conduct the data collection and assembly. NORC is one of the largest independent social research organizations in the country. The site contains few surprises. It clarifies some concerns, confirms some things we were pretty sure we knew, and creates a couple of new questions.
What: Component 2 is the pay and hours worked data collection in addition to Component 1, which is the original EEO-1 that has been filed with few changes every year since 1966. This year, Component 2 also must be filed for snapshots of the years 2017 and 2018. The snapshots can be any pay period between October 1 and December 31, and do not have to be the same pay period in both years.
Who: For the most part, the same employers who are required to file the original EEO-1 (Component 1) are required to file Component 2. All employers with at least 100 employees must file both Component 1 and 2. Many federal contractors with less than 100 employees were required, as always, to file Component 1 earlier this year, but no federal contractor with less than 100 employees is required to file Component 2 for either year. Employers with fluctuating workforces can use a pay period with less than 100 employees on the payroll and avoid the Component 2 filing requirement. Just remember that all full and part time employees on the payroll during the snapshot period must be counted.
When and How: The report must be filed electronically for both 2017 and 2018 by September 30, 2019. If filing electronically would create undue hardship, an employer can request a special reporting procedure (see instruction 5). Those required to report should have received a letter and/or email notification with a user ID to access the reporting site. The main website for forms/information/filing is https://eeoccomp2.norc.org and the help desk can be emailed at EEOCcompdata@norc.org. There is nothing to install; everything is done through the website. After entering all the pay and hours worked data (and saving a copy for your records), do not exit the site before completing the Certification. The Certification page is easy to find if you just remember to look for it. No matter how hard you worked gathering the data and reporting exactly as instructed, without the completed Certification, the report is not filed.
Changes/Clarifications: The only change from the original 2016 Component 2 sample form is the pay data heading is now "Salary Compensation Band" instead of "Annual Salary", clarifying that the salary band amounts are based on W-2, Box 1 income and not annual salary.
Component 2 instructions allow using a proxy of 40 hours per week for full time exempt employees, 20 hours for part time, or actual hours worked. Since using proxy hours could result in inaccurate reporting, the 2016 instructions included this statement: "To the extent that the use of the proxy numbers cause some deviation from an exempt employee's actual hours worked, the certification of the report as accurate would be considered appropriate." Without explanation, this sentence was not in the recently published instructions.
The 2016 instructions stated, "The confidentiality requirements allow the EEOC to publish only aggregated data, and only in a manner that does not reveal any particular filer's or any individual employee's personal information." Again, without explanation, this sentence was omitted from the recently published instructions.
In accordance with a recent Supreme Court decision, the bases upon which EEOC may reject a Freedom of Information Act request for pay data was expanded. It previously relied solely upon FOIA Exemption 3 when a suit had not been filed on an investigated charge. Now Exemption 4, which protects trade secrets, commercial or financial information, may be applicable.
Last, but certainly not least important: An appeal of the federal court ruling from March 2019 that reinstated the Component 2 filing requirement is still pending. Of course, this means that everything about this portion of the EEO-1 could change in an instant. But it does not mean that it will. With the deadline to compile and report pay and hours worked data approaching, employers should assume they must file as instructed by September 30.
As more information becomes available, we will let you know.
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