As part of the formal process regarding approval of the new and expanded EEO-1 Report, which covered employers will have to begin filing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by March 31, 2018, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) initially approved revised form instructions containing the phrase, “Observer identification should never be used for sex identification.”

To the dismay of many employers, this statement reflected a change in policy that was contrary to the long-established understanding that visual identification was permissible to supplement data in those cases where an employee declines to self-identify sex.  (The revised instructions contained no similar bar to the use of visual identification in the case of race/ethnicity.)

We are pleased to report that the EEOC requested that OMB delete the above phrase from the EEO-1 instructions, and OMB quickly approved the EEOC’s request.  Thus, employers will be allowed to continue supplementing their demographic data, as necessary, with visual identification of an employee’s sex once the new EEO-1 goes into effect.

Members of the Equal Employment Advisory Council (EEAC) can read more here.