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EEO-1 REVISIONS - Affirmative Action & OFCCP Compliance - what race are middle eastern people

EEO-1 REVISIONS - Affirmative Action & OFCCP Compliance-what race are middle eastern people

Volume 7, No. 1 Douglas B. Brown, LLC March 2007
Douglas B. Brown, LLC
13715 Clover Lake Dr., Ste. 100
Chardon, OH 44024
(440) 564-7987 Phn. (440) 564-7989 Fax
For the 2007 EEO-1 reporting cycle, employers will have to provide data using the revised
racial/ethnicity categories as well as new job categories. These changes will be effective for the
report due September 30, 2007.
The previous EEO-1 racial categories consisted of:
White (Not of Hispanic Origin)
Black (Not of Hispanic Origin)
Asian/Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
American Indian or Alaskan Native
The revised racial/ethnicity categories take the following approach. First, the new EEO-1 report
looks at an individual's ethnicity in terms of whether they are Hispanic or Latino. An individual
is Hispanic or Latino if they are a person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South
American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
If an individual is not Hispanic or Latino, then they must be classified as to their racial
classification. The revised racial classifications are:
White (Not Hispanic or Latino): - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of
Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
Black or African American (Not Hispanic or Latino): - A person having origins in any of
the Black racial groups of Africa.
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (Not Hispanic or Latino): A person having
origins in any of the peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa or other Pacific Islands.
Asian (Not Hispanic or Latino): A person having origins in any of the original peoples of
the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia,
China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and
American Indian or Alaskan Native (Not Hispanic or Latino): All persons having origins in
any of the original people of North and South America (including Central America), and
who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment.
Two or more Races (Not Hispanic or Latino): All persons who identify with more than
one of the above five races.
There are some interesting nuances in the above classifications that have not been seen before.
Asian is now separate from Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. In addition, members of
the indigenous people of Central and South America do not have to claim ethnicity as Hispanic
or Latino regardless of their race but can identify as Native American.
In review, someone of North African (Moroccan, Libyan or Egyptian) descent would be
classified as White. Someone of Middle Eastern (Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian, Afghan)
descent would likewise be classified as White. However, someone of Pakistani descent would be
classified as Asian since Pakistan is considered part of the Indian Subcontinent.
EEOC's website specifies self-identification as the primary method of obtaining racial/ethnicity
data from employees and applicants. The website also contemplates that employers will utilize a
two-step process to obtain this data. First, employers will ask whether the individual is Hispanic
or Latino. While not clearly worded, it appears that if the individual responds "Yes," then the
process stops. If the individual is not Hispanic or Latino, then they would be asked to identify
their race.
The website specifies that an employer must accept an employees/applicants self-identification.
Employers may use employment records or visual identification only if an individual refuses to
self-identify. This may require an employer to accept some confusing outcomes. For example,
an individual who was born in Brazil and who appears to be Black could legitimately self-
identify as Hispanic or Latino. On the other hand, that individual's twin could independently
self-identify that he/she is Black or African American. Because the new guidelines say that
employers must accept an individual's self-identification, the two twins could legitimately be
classified under two different racial and ethnicity classifications. No, it doesn't make sense.
Yes, the employer would be required to classify them as such.
In regard to resurveying your workforce, while not required, resurveying is strongly encouraged.
The reality is the only significant change is to separate Asian from Pacific Islander. As such, it is
possible to resurvey only those individuals currently classified as Asian. However, with the new
"Two or More Races" category, individuals of any racial classification (except Hispanic or
Latino) may wish to change from a single racial to the multi-racial classification. Accordingly,
employers have essentially four options available to them.
1. Do Nothing
2. Resurvey everyone
3. Resurvey only Asians
4. Provide information on the new classifications to everyone and invite those who wish
to change their racial classification to come down to HR and do so.
Option 4 may be the most realistic approach to providing opportunities to self-identify. If
someone is currently classified as Asian/Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander and they do
not change their racial category, under the new system they would be considered Asian.
One concern is whether existing HRIS systems will allow for the recording of the new
categories. It is strongly recommended that employers review their HRIS systems to determine
whether they are either up to date with the new categories or have the flexibility to record the
new categories.
Both the new Instruction Booklet and the EEOC website are silent as to whether employers
should be asking applicants to self-identify using the new categories. To date, OFCCP has not
issued any guidelines regarding applying the new categories to applicants. However, taking a
commonsense approach to the question indicates the employers would be advised to modify their
self-identification forms to conform to the new categories and to start capturing applicant data
In addition to changes in the race/ethnicity categories, the revised EEO-1 has split the current
"Officials and Managers" classification into two new groups. These groups will be
"Executive/Senior Level Officials and Managers" and "First/Mid Level Officials and Managers."
Before looking at the specifics of each category, it is important to note that the EEO-1
Instruction book states that the two new "...subcategories are intended to mirror the employer's
own well established hierarchy of management positions. Small employers who may not have
two well-defined hierarchal steps of management should report their management employees in
the appropriate categories."
While not specifically set forth as such, the above seems to indicate the examples below are just
that, examples, and employers retain some discretion in categorizing employees into the two new
groups in a manner which reflects the actual management structure of the employer.
Executive/Senior Level Officials and Managers
This being said, the Instruction Booklet indicates that Executive/Senior Level Officials and
Managers are those positions "...within two reporting levels of the CEO, whose responsibilities
require frequent interaction with the CEO." These positions are at the highest levels of the
organization and typically found in larger organizations. Duties include planning, directing or
coordinating activities with the support of subordinate executives and staff mangers. Examples
provided include "...chief executive officers, chief operating officers, chief financial officers,
line of business heads, presidents or executive vice presidents of functional areas or operating
groups, chief information officers, chief human resources officers, chief marketing officers, chief
legal officers, management directors and managing partners." The Instruction Booklet indicates
tat these positions reside at the highest levels of an organization.

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