On Sept. 15, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced that it was extending the deadline for federal contractors to submit written objections to the disclosure of EEO-1 reports from Sept. 19 to Oct. 19. On Aug. 19, the OFCCP published a notice in the Federal Register to inform federal contractors of a Freedom of Information Act request that seeks all Type 2 Consolidated EEO-1 report demographic data (or “Component 1” EEO-1 reports) submitted by federal contractors and first-tier subcontractors from 2016 to 2020. According to the OFCCP, Will Evans from the Center for Investigative Reporting submitted the FOIA request.
In granting the extension, the OFCCP explained:
“There are multiple reasons for the extension, including the following. First, since publication of that notice, numerous contractors and contractor representatives have contacted the agency requesting an extension of time to submit objections. Additionally, since the publication of the original notice, some federal contractors have raised questions regarding their efforts to verify whether they are included in the universe of Covered Contractors during the requested timeframe. To address this second issue, OFCCP will also take the additional step of emailing contractors that OFCCP believes are covered by this Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, using the email address provided by contractors that have registered in OFCCP’s Contractor Portal and the email addresses provided as a contact for the EEO-1 report.”
The Aug. 19 Federal Register notice provides specific instructions and a list of questions that should be addressed by contractors who wish to object to the disclosure of their Type 2 Consolidated EEO-1 report data. ABC recommends that contractors review the questions outlined in the OFCCP’s FAQs, specifically No. 10:
10. What information should contractors include in a written objection if their company decides to file one?
Contractors should include the first and last name of their company’s point of contact, the POC’s phone number and email address, the company’s name and address and the parent company’s EEO-1 unit number.
Contractors should also provide as much information as possible addressing why they believe their Type 2 EEO-1 report data should not be released under FOIA, including whether the information is commercial/financial and confidential. At a minimum, OFCCP suggests that written objections address the following questions:
- Do you consider information from your EEO-1 report to be a trade secret or commercial information? If yes, please explain why.
- Do you customarily keep the requested information private or closely held? If yes, please explain what steps have been taken to protect data contained in your reports, and to whom it has been disclosed.
- Do you contend that the government provided an express or implied assurance of confidentiality? If yes, please explain.
- If you answered “no” to the previous question, were there expressed or implied indications at the time the information was submitted that the government would publicly disclose the information? If yes, please explain.
- Do you believe that disclosure of this information could cause harm to an interest protected by Exemption 4 (such as by causing genuine harm to your economic or business interests)? If yes, please explain.
If you plan to submit a written objection and require further assistance from ABC National, please contact Karen Livingston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- ABC general counsel Littler Mendelson’s analysis: OFCCP Plans to Disclose Confidential Employer EEO-1 Data: Can Employers Protect Their Information?
- OFCCP Frequently Asked Questions
- OFCCP Webpage
- OFCCP Contact Information