The EEOC is trying to make it easier to get information about employment trends and has launched EEOC Explore, “an interactive data query and mapping tool” that gives you access to aggregate data on more than 56 million employees and 73,000 employers across the U.S. According to the EEOC’s FAQs, this tool will enable you to get data from the EEO-1 reports that employers file each year. With this tool, a user can slice and dice the aggregate information, including county-level details. For now, you can only access data from 2017 and 2018, although you can get previously publicly released data from a separate link. The EEOC notes that the data is aggregated and no one will be able to identify a particular employer or employee.
But What Does This Mean for Me?
We aren’t yet sure. On the plus side, if you are ramping up your affirmative action efforts or want to perform an equity audit of your workforce (in a privileged project with your lawyer), this may be a good source to use. On the other side, plaintiff’s lawyers or advocacy groups could use this to suggest that an employer is somehow excluding certain groups from its workforce.
In the meantime, if you have at least 100 employees or you are a federal contractor with at least 50 employees and a contract of $50,000 or more with the federal government, keep an eye on when to file your EEO-1 form. In the last few years, the EEOC has moved the deadline, and the COVID-19 crisis has complicated it even further. The latest information from the EEOC is that it will start collecting that data in March 2021.