EEOC Provides New Resources for Employers – Requesting Opinion Letters and a Data Search Tool
In December 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission took several actions of (more or less) interest to employers:
- Opinion Letter Requests. The EEOC announced a new process for requesting opinion letters. Opinion letters respond to an inquiry from an employer or other entity regarding EEOC-enforced anti-discrimination laws, and represent the EEOC’s official position on that particular issue. Other employers may then look to these opinion letters for guidance. As the EEOC’s website explains, the request should be in writing, signed by the person making the request, specifically request an “opinion letter,” and be addressed to the Chair, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street, NE., Washington, DC 20507. Requests should also be sent to: EEOCopinionletters@eeoc.gov. The request should contain: A concise statement of the issue; the names and addresses of the person making the request and of other interested persons; as full a statement as possible of all known relevant facts and law; and a statement of reasons why the opinion letter should be issued. The EEOC has discretion whether to respond to the request.
- Data Search Tool. The EEOC also announced the release of EEOC Explore, a new interactive data query and mapping tool that enables the exploration and comparison of data trends across a number of categories, including location, sex, race and ethnicity, and industry sector. The tool uses privacy-protected demographic data from EEO-1 reports, which are filed annually by employers with 100 or more employees and government contractors with 50 or more employees.