Many companies treat the annual EEO-1 filing requirement with, let’s say, some lack of urgency and, historically, there has been little to no consequence for failing to file the EEO-1 form. But a recent press release from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission makes clear that those days may be over, as the agency announced that it has filed suit against fifteen companies across a wide range of industries for failing to file those mandatory reports in 2021 and 2022!

According to Bloomberg Law, the EEOC hasn’t filed suit for this reason since 2008. And the EEOC said it usually is able to resolve the issues informally, short of a lawsuit. But apparently not for these defiant employers. The EEOC is asking the courts to order these stubborn companies to comply with the filing requirement (which really isn’t all that difficult, folks, all things considered) as well as other unspecified relief. And if the employers ignore a court’s order, they could be found to be in contempt of court, and subject to fines – and imprisonment!!!

So, as most larger employers know, the EEO-1 form must be submitted annually by (1) private sector employers with more than 100 employees and (2) government contractors and first-tier subcontractors with more than 50 employees and more than $50,000 in federal contracts or subcontracts. It requires employers to provide information regarding the race, ethnicity, sex, and job category of their workforce, broken down into 10 job categories. The EEOC uses the data for enforcement, analytics, and research.

This year’s EEO-1 reporting period is currently open until June 4, 2024. Covered employers should ensure that they meet this deadline. Because the EEOC means it!