Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on May 7, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) delayed the 2019 EEO-1 Component 1 data collection. On March 29, 2021, the EEOC announced that the 2019 and 2020 Component 1 data collection would open on Monday, April 26, 2021. This means that after one year with no filings, EEO-1 filers will need to submit data for the last two years.

Federal contractors with 50 or more employees and private employers with 100 or more employees must file Component 1, which is a collection of a company’s workforce data. Because the EEOC recognizes the pandemic is still affecting companies, the agency extended the data collection period from the usual 10 weeks to 12 weeks. Therefore, the new deadline to submit Component 1 information is Monday, July 19, 2021.

Employers can visit the EEOC’s “2019 & 2020 EEO-1 Data Collection” web page for more information and updates on Component 1, and for resources to help with their submissions once the collection period opens. The web page includes announcements and links to a “Support Center” and a “How to Submit” page. It also states that employers will be required to file and certify their 2019 EEO-1 reports before filing and certifying their 2020 EEO-1 reports. The Support Center provides a variety of helpful items, including how to report company changes affecting EEO-1 filings, a set of frequently asked questions, and numerous fact sheets. The “How to Submit” page states that employers will continue to be able to file Component 1 data by “enter[ing] data into a secure web portal directly or [by] upload[ing] data files” as they have in the past. The EEOC also indicated that the filing system “will be updated to improve usability and system functionality.”

The “How to Submit” page also notes that employers will be required to set up a user account to access the new online filing system. Interestingly, prior filers will receive the information necessary to create these new accounts via postal letter, while new filers can register through the online filing system. The use of traditional mail to provide existing filers with information needed to log into the EEO-1 filing system could raise issues as many employees are still working from home and there have been concerns about postal delivery times. The EEOC states that a new instruction booklet will be available in April 2021, but the agency does not provide a specific date of availability. While there has been no indication of any major changes to the Component 1 filing process, employers may want to review the instruction booklet to confirm there are no major changes.

Employers must file Component 1 for both 2019 and 2020 this year, so it may help to get started early to ensure the timely filing of reports.