Federal contractors’ EEO-1 data was released by OFCCP exposing underrepresentation of women and minorities in high level positions at top companies.
As we have been reporting for the past several years (see blogs below), the Center for Investigation Reporting (CIR) requested the Office of Federal Contracts Compliance Programs (OFCCP) disclose 2016 EEO-1 reports for 55 companies, of which 36 were government contractors. OFCCP contacted the identified contractors informing them of the request and asking them to object in writing or the agency would release the data. On August 16, 2018, OFCCP released the EEO-1 data on the 16 contractors who failed to respond. Shortly thereafter, several other contractors agreed to supply the data. On December 10, 2019, the Court ruled the government must produce the remaining EEO-1 reports.
Since then, the CIR and Will Evans, an activist reporter from Reveal sued the Department of Labor (DOL) to compel OFCCP to produce the EEO-1 reports on all government contractors. On August 19, 2022, OFCCP published a notice in the Federal Register indicating it would release Type 2 Consolidated EEO-1 reports of all federal contractors and first-tier subcontractors for the past five years in response to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Under FOIA, contractors are entitled to object to the release of this data. OFCCP originally accepted objections until October 19, 2022, but extended the time to object until March 3, 2023.
On April 13, 2023, a case management conference was held before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California between CIR and OFCCP. The judge directed OFCCP to submit a schedule outlining the dates and deadlines to make EEO-1 data disclosures to CIR and to resolve contractor objections to disclosure. The OFCCP will review each contractor’s objection to the release of data to determine if their reasoning is valid. It will provide responses to objections submitted by contractors on a rolling basis through the end of September 2023 on the Submitter Notice Response Portal. More than 4,000 contractors objected to OFCCP’s release of their EEO-1 data. If the OFCCP determines a contractor’s objections are invalid, those contractors will either have to accept their EEO-1 data will be released or file a lawsuit to seek judicial intervention.
On April 17, 2023, OFCCP released EEO-1 data on 19,289 contractors who did not object or voluntarily confirmed that they had no objection to the release. Twenty-one additional contractors voluntarily released the data. The Employment Information Reports (Standard Form 100) can be viewed on the OFCCP website in the FOIA Library.
The USA Today and Reveal from the Center for investigative Reporting conducted an analysis of the released EEO-1 data of some of the largest companies (Moderna, Boeing, Raytheon, Humana, General Electric and Honeywell) and found “white men holding a disproportionate number of top jobs and women of color having the least representation.” Overall, people of color were underrepresented in the C-suite and women were “less likely to break into top ranks, particularly those of color.” The reporters reached out to the 21 companies that received the most federal contract dollars in 2020; however, few agreed to comment on their diversity track record.
Having this data publicly available should make companies more accountable. Individuals and organizations will be able to evaluate the overall representation of people of color and women working in various levels within a company. Outcomes from the release of this data is not yet known, however it is clear that the government is paying out a lot of money but not necessarily keeping the contractors accountable for ensuring equitable hiring and promotion practices. Since pressure will likely be put on OFCCP to justify their work, any future compliance evaluations may dig deeper into programs and processes for identifying, placing, and promoting people of color and women. Contractors should determine where the roadblocks for upward mobility are occurring and develop programs to enable employees in underrepresented groups to learn the skills necessary to move up in the company.
None of the findings published in USA Today, et al, are surprising to us and likely not to our clients. If you are interested in discussing diversity, equity and inclusion strategies and affirmative action programs at your company, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us at 888.414.2410.
Historical Blogs on the release of Type 2 EEO-1 data:
- OFCCP Extends the Deadline for Contractors to Request Removal from Type 2 EEO-1 Data Report Release [February 14, 2023]
- DOL Sued Over EEO-1 FOIA Requests & OFCCP Gives Contractors Another Chance to Object to the Release of EEO-1 Reports [December 5, 2022]
- OFCCP Grants an Extension of Time for Contractors to Object to the Release of EEO-1 Reports Requested under FOIA [September 19, 2022]
- Objection Must be Filed to Stop OFCCP From Releasing EEO-1 Reports from 2016-2020 [August 23, 2022]
- Three States Sue EEOC to Obtain EEO-1 Data [November 20, 2020]
- Court Ruling Makes Way to FOIA Requests for EEO-1 Report [January 17, 2020]