The what, how and why of EEOC compliance

Orla Hodnett
Orla Hodnett

EEOC compliance ensures that organisations foster diversity, equality and workplace rights. Diversity enriches any company and your workforce is likely to reflect this. An inclusive, happy workplace sees greater retention and job satisfaction, so the motivation is clear. If you’re doing everything right when hiring, good job!

But there’s a little more than meets the eye when remaining compliant with EEOC regulation. The way you retain information on job applicants and what information you retain is key. What do you have to do to remain compliant?

What is it?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that defends against discrimination on basis of race, colour, nationality, religion, gender, age, disability, genetic information and retaliation for whistleblowing in working situations. This includes hiring, firing, promotion, harassment, training, wages and benefits. The EEOC enforces these laws in both the public and private sector. Closely tied to the civil rights act, the commission defends the civil rights of employees in the workplace.

It’s not just issues of workplace discrimination though – record keeping is essential to remain compliant.

Who needs to know about EEOC compliance?

An organisation with 15 employees or over is covered by EEOC laws. It’s not just issues of workplace discrimination though – recordkeeping is essential to remain compliant. When it comes to the issue of record keeping, organisations have a responsibility to retain applications for job postings for one year from the creation of the record or one year after the decision was made on the role.

Organisations that include state and local governments, educational institutions, and federal contractors and subcontractors with 150 or more employees, or with a government contract of $150,000, have a responsibility to retain records for two years. Payroll information should be retained for 3 years.

Furthermore, the mandated EEO-1 report requires that employment and recruiting details are provided. As above, organisations with over 100 employees must submit a report of workforce data. This report assists in the gathering of information about gender, race and age profiles of the workforce, as well as determining if they meet legal requirements. By recording this and automating the process, it takes the effort out of this procedure.

Consequences of non-compliance

Non-compliance with the EEOC results in much more than a slap on the wrist. The organisation is federal and does have the power to sue an organisation that they feel is not keeping in line with their regulations and will defend civil rights of employees. Again, record keeping and reporting are a significant part of these regulations.

The inability to produce these records places an organisation in no position to dispute claims of discrimination. Recently Coca Cola found itself in this position and they were successfully sued for $35,000.

Recruiting software may quickly become your best friend for accurately and securely recording voluntary applicant info, not in the candidate profile.

How to avoid non-compliance

Simply put, record keeping is the best way of avoiding this. Collecting and recording data on applications is what is expected by the EEOC. Recruiting software may quickly become your best friend for accurately and securely recording voluntary applicant info, not in the candidate profile. There’s equity in automation.

When making a decision on the role, always note the reason for disqualification or the reason you chose not to select a candidate, as is required by EEOC regulations.

The mandated EEO-1 report requires that employment and recruiting details are provided. By recording this and automating the process, it takes the effort out of this procedure.

 

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