The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is one of the federal agencies affected by the ongoing partial federal government shutdown. In addition to investigating and processing charges of discrimination, the EEOC also administers the annual EEO-1 filing process through the EEO-1 Joint Reporting Committee. Based on calls to the EEO-1 Joint Reporting Committee helpline, it seems the EEOC had planned to open the 2018 EEO-1 filing website during the second or third week of January 2019, with a planned filing deadline of March 31, 2019. More recent information suggests that the EEOC plans to open the EEO-1 filing website at the end of January 2019, but that is dependent on when the partial shutdown ends.
The 2017 EEO-1 filing cycle opened on January 24, 2018, with a filing deadline of March 31, 2018. In late April 2018, the deadline was extended to June 1, 2018. There was no explanation given for the decision to extend this deadline. However, there were changes to the filing website, including the implementation of extra security measures, as well as delays in responses to mergers and acquisitions and spin-off requests. The EEOC ultimately closed the 2017 EEO-1 filing website on October 1, 2018.
As the government shutdown grinds on, the opening date for the EEO-1 filing website remains in doubt. Even after the shutdown ends, it is unknown how long it will take to bring the 2018 EEO-1 filing website online. Presumably there is background work that would normally have been done during the time that EEOC employees have been furloughed. If so, this work will need to be done after the shutdown ends and before the filing website can be opened. At this point, it seems likely that the expected March 31, 2019, deadline for 2018 EEO-1 filings will be extended, providing affected private employers and government contractors/subcontractors more time to complete their 2018 EEO-1 filings. As employers await the filing website’s opening, they may want to gather employment data from the fourth quarter of 2018 that will be used to complete their 2018 filings.
By James A. Patton, Jr., shareholder at Ogletree Deakins. Link to original article here.