STATEMENT: EEOC Data Collection Delay Undermines Efforts To Ensure an Equitable Coronavirus Response

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced it would delay collection of the EEO-1 form, which many private employers and some federal contractors are required to complete annually. Jocelyn Frye, a senior fellow with the Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response to the announcement:

At a time when we are confronting an extraordinary crisis, the EEOC’s move to delay the required submission of EEO-1 data sends the wrong message about the critical need for data collection. The EEO-1 form is one of the most important tools that the EEOC has at its disposal to understand the demographic composition of employer workforces and assess workforce trends broken down by race, gender, and ethnicity. It has been used for more than 50 years to help unearth discriminatory practices and has been proven to be an effective tool for pinpointing illegal conduct.

Pulling back on data collection is especially problematic at a time when we are still trying to understand one of most disturbing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic: the disproportionate rates of infection and death among communities of color. Data from states and cities across the country have shown that African American and Latinx residents are overrepresented in COVID-19 infections and deaths. Yet we have far too little data about why these disparities are occurring and lack sufficient disaggregated data to understand the unique impacts on women of color.

Today’s jobs report shows that unemployment rates are rising sharply for all workers, but particularly women workers and workers of color. This is not the time to delay tools that may provide critical insights into how different groups of workers are being treated throughout this crisis. This is a time when we need more data, which is why Congress should insist on its reporting in upcoming coronavirus relief legislation.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202-741-6292.