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EEOC and OFCCP Reports Have to be Updated Because of Directive 15 Update

04 Jul

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Update Applicable to:Effective date
All covered entitiesImmediately


What happened?

On March 28, 2024, The White House announced that the federal government is making key revisions to the questions agencies used to collect information on race and ethnicity. The revised Directive No. 15 replaces and supersedes OMB’s 1997 Revisions.


What are the details?

The directive changes the three key aspects:

1. Using one combined question for race and ethnicity and encouraging respondents to select as many options as applied to how they identify.

2. Adding Middle Eastern or North African as a new minimum category for race and ethnicity. For the list of categories click here.

3. Requiring the collection of additional detail beyond the minimum required race and ethnicity categories for most situations, to ensure further disaggregation in the collection, tabulation, and presentation of data when useful and appropriate.

The revised Directive No.15 includes updates to definitions and terminology and guides data collection and presentation. Its main goal is to standardize race and ethnicity data across federal agencies. Agencies are instructed to update their forms promptly, submit a public Agency Action Plan within 18 months, and ensure all data collections comply with the new standards within five years.

The newly formed Interagency Committee on Race and Ethnicity Statistical Standards will regularly review the directive, as racial and ethnic identities and concepts continue to evolve.

For additional information click here.


Key Bites for Employers:

  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is expected to be among the first to adopt these changes, integrating them into the EEO-1 report that larger employers (100 or more employees) must file annually.
  • The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), based on past trends, has been slower to adopt changes in demographic data reporting categories, crucial for annual affirmative action plans. It is anticipated that the OFCCP will align the introduction of new categories with EEO-1 revisions.


Business Considerations

  • Employers need not do anything yet but should await further guidance from applicable federal agencies, like the EEOC and OFCCP, on how these new race categories will be reflected in relevant compliance obligations.
  • Internally, however, you may consider how these new designations can impact efforts such as diversity programming and content, as well processes within your organization that may need to be revamped for potential new reporting requirements.
  • Employers should consider being proactive and update their data collection and reporting systems to align with the new standards. This includes using one combined question for race and ethnicity and adding Middle Eastern or North African as a new minimum category.
  • Employers should review their compliance requirements, particularly if they are federal contractors or receive federal funding. They should ensure they comply with the new standards and the timelines set by the OMB.
  • Given the potential implications of these revisions, employers are advised to consult with legal counsel or human resources professionals. Vensure HR can guide how to implement the new standards and ensure compliance.
  • Employers should communicate any changes in how they collect and report demographic data to their employees. This can help ensure that employees understand the changes and why they are being made.


Source References

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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