The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that it is loosening the requirement on companies to provide notice to the federal agency of acquisitions, mergers, and spinoffs. By way of background, in addition to requiring the submission and certification of two years of EEO-1 reports, the EEOC had created a new filing platform for the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 filings, which are due by August 23, 2021. The transition to the new platform and the requirement to file two years of EEO-1 reports has resulted in a rocky EEO-1 filing cycle. As a continued sign of these difficulties, the EEOC implemented a major change to the procedure for handling mergers, acquisitions, and spinoffs for EEO-1 reporting.

In prior years and up to this point in the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 filing cycle, the EEOC has required employers to provide notice of all mergers, acquisitions, and spinoffs that impact their EEO-1 filings. Following the receipt of such notices, the EEOC has taken actions to adjust employers’ EEO-1 filing profiles to reflect the changes. Examples of these actions include moving acquired establishments under the acquiring employer’s EEO-1 filing profile and deleting such establishments from the employer that sold the establishments or, if the acquisition is for the entire company, deleting the acquired company from the EEO-1 system. Recognizing how difficult reconciling two years’ worth of such changes has been, the EEOC recently announced that employers are no longer required to provide notice of these changes to the EEOC.

Before this change, the EEOC would have to process the adjustments before an employer could file its EEO-1 reports, which has meant long waits during the current filing cycle. This is a major change from the prior procedure and seems to be an acknowledgement of the large backlog of such requests. The EEOC previously indicated that employers’ EEO-1 filings would not be considered late if they were waiting on the EEOC to process their pending merger, acquisition, or spinoff request. This latest announcement means that employers are free to proceed with their filings without EEOC processing of already filed requests. Additional changes to the EEO-1 filing portal show that employers that have not yet filed such requests with the EEOC do not have to provide notice of acquisitions, spinoffs, or mergers and can instead move ahead with their EEO-1 filings.

The EEOC’s announcement also includes a two-page guidance for employers impacted by an acquisition, spinoff, or merger. While this change should help employers that are waiting on pending merger, acquisition, or spinoff requests, there are still other lingering issues that continue to complicate the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 filings, including ongoing filing platform password retrieval issues and unprocessed company contact change request forms.

Ogletree Deakins will continue to provide updates concerning these filings as additional information becomes available and will post updates to the firm’s Affirmative Action / OFCCP, Government Contractors, and Pay Equity blogs. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.