Chapter 26:
Equal Employment Opportunity and Employment Discrimination

Updated as of August 2006

In recent years a continuously increasing number of laws and directives have been adopted to cover various aspects of discrimination. These laws have resulted in overlapping coverage and jurisdiction complicating compliance.

The purpose of this publication is to acquaint the employer with the most important laws and directives, and to provide general information about prohibited practices, the enforcement of the laws and reporting requirements. It is not designed to be used as legal advice and any specific situation should be referred to your legal counsel.


Fair Employment and Housing Act California Government Code Section 12900 et seq.)

Originally enacted in 1959 this act has been amended over the years. It now prohibits harassment or discrimination in employment because of:

Age (40 and above)



Creed (all aspects of religious belief, observance and practice)

Denial of family and medical care leave (employers with 50 or more employees)

Disability (mental and physical) including HIV and AIDS

Marital status

Medical condition (cancer, genetic characteristics)

National origin

Pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition or denial of pregnancy disability leave



Sex (includes gender identity)

Sexual orientation (heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality)


Discrimination based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation includes a perception that the person has any of those characteristics or that the person is associated with a person who has, or is perceived to have, any of those characteristics. Effective January 1, 2003 the grounds for age discrimination were expanded to include the requirement that employers make training and educational opportunities available to older workers.

The enforcement of the provisions lies with the Fair Employment and Housing Commission composed of seven members, appointed by the Governor with the consent of the Senate. The commission is empowered to issue cease and desist orders, which have the same impact as a court order. Additionally, the Commission is charged with the promotion of goodwill through education and public relations. In this latter activity the Commission is promoting the use of affirmative action on a voluntary basis. Complaints must be filed within one year from the date of the alleged discrimination.

Penalties for violations of this law include hiring, reinstatement, and promotion, with or without back pay, damages for emotional distress and attorneys fees.

Damages may be awarded up to $150,000.

Constitution of the State of California (Article 1 Section 8)

There is a constitutional protection in California for individuals to enter or continue employment in a profession or employment free from discrimination on the basis of "sex, race, creed, or national or ethnic origin." This applies only when an individual is denied entrance to or terminated from a profession or employment. It does not apply to actions taken during the course of employment.

California Equal Pay Law (Labor Code Sections 1197.5 and 1199.5)

This law requires employers to pay equally regardless of sex to employees working in the same establishment where skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions are substantially the same, except where payment is based on seniority, a merit system, a system based on the quantity or quality of production, or a system or any bona fide factor other than sex. Every employer shall maintain records of the wages, wage rates, job classifications and other terms and conditions of employment for two years.

Employees receiving less than they are entitled to may recover in civil action the balance of the wages due, including interest and an equal amount as damages, together with the costs of the suit and reasonable attorney's fees. Every employer or person acting either individually or as an agent of another person who is guilty of paying a wage less than the rate paid to an employee of the opposite sex is guilty of a misdemeanor and a fine of not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for up to six months or both.

Discrimination or Discharge for Exercise of Employee Rights (Labor Code Sections 98.6 and 98.7)

Employers may not discriminate against an employee or applicant who has filed a complaint or claim with the Labor Commissioner or who has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding. Any person who believes that he or she has been discharged or otherwise discriminated against in violation of any law under the jurisdiction of the Labor Commissioner may file a complaint with the division within six months after the occurrence of the violation. The six-month period may be extended for good cause.

Workers' Compensation Discrimination (Labor Code Section 132(a))

This section prohibits any employer from discharging, or threatening to discharge, or in any manner discriminating against any employee who has filed or may file a workers' compensation claim. This prohibition covers all employers.

Proceedings are to be instituted by filing a petition with the Workers Compensation Appeals Board, but these proceedings may not be commenced more than one year from the discriminatory act or date of termination of the employee. The appeals board may refer and any worker may complain of suspected violations of the criminal misdemeanor provisions of this section to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, or directly to the office of the public prosecutor.

Jury or Witnesses Duty, Victims of Crimes, and Victims of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault (Labor Code Sections 230, 230.1 and 230.2)

Section 230 of the Labor Code prohibits an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating against an employee for taking time off to serve on a jury or to appear in court as a witness as required by law or for a victim of a crime or a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault or to take time off from work to obtain or attempt to obtain relief, including, but not limited to, a temporary restraining order.

Section 230.1 of the Labor Code prohibits an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against an employee who exercises his/her rights to take time off for reasons related to domestic violence as specified in the section

Section 230.2 defines the crimes that are covered by section 230. It also extends protection to domestic partners and to immediate family members of a crime victim. The immediate family members are spouse, child, stepchild, brother, stepbrother, sister, stepsister, mother, stepmother, father, or stepfather.

Discrimination for Performance of Emergency Duty (Labor Code Section 230.3)

No employer shall discharge or in any manner discriminate against an employee for taking time off to perform emergency duty as a volunteer firefighter, a reserve peace officer, or emergency rescue personnel.

Discrimination Against an Employee for Required Appearance in School (Labor Code Section 230.7)

No employer shall discharge or in any manner discriminate against an employee who is the parent or guardian of a pupil for taking time off to appear in the school because the child has been suspended and the school is requiring their appearance at the school. Employees must give reasonable notice to the employer that he or she is requested to appear in the school.

The Family School Partnership Act of 1995 (Labor Code Section 230.8)

Employers with twenty-five or more employees at the same location must allow parents, guardians and grandparents with custody up to a total of forty hours each school year to participate in their children's activities at school or in a licensed child day care facility, provided that reasonable notice is given to the employer. Penalty for discriminating against an employee who takes this time off includes payment of three times the amount of employee's lost wages and work benefits. The employee may be required to utilize existing vacation, personal leave or compensatory time off if available.

Discrimination Against an Employee for Disclosing Wages or Information about Working Conditions (Labor Code Sections 232 and 232.5)

No employer may discharge, formally discipline, or otherwise discriminate against an employee who discloses the amount of his or her wages or who discloses information about the employer's working conditions.

Discrimination for Use of Sick Leave to Attend Family (Labor Code Section 233)

No employer shall discriminate against an employee for using, or attempting to exercise the right to use, sick leave to attend to an illness of a child, parent, spouse, or domestic partner of the employee. Any employee aggrieved by a violation of this section shall be entitled to reinstatement and actual damages or one day's pay, whichever is greater, and to appropriate equitable relief.

Discrimination against Agricultural Workers for Union Activities (Labor Code Sections 1153 and 1154)

It is an unfair labor practice for an agricultural employer to discrimination in regard to the hiring or tenure of employment, or any term or condition of employment, to encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization.

Exemption from Mandatory Day Off Requirement (Labor Code Section 1198.3)

The Chief of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement may exempt any employer or employees from any mandatory day or days off requirement for a period of time not to exceed one year. The employer shall not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee who refuses to work hours in excess of those permitted by the order of the commission.

Discrimination in Apprenticeship Programs (Government Code Section 12940 and Labor Code Sections 3077.5, 3084.5 and 3095)

Discrimination in any recruitment or apprenticeship program on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, or sex is prohibited. Violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.

Discrimination Against Employee for Filing Safety or Health Complaint (Labor Code Sections 6310 and 6399.7)

No person shall discharge or in any manner discriminate against any employee because the employee has done any of the following:

(1) Made any oral or written complaint to a governmental agency about safety or health;

(2) Instituted any proceeding relating to his or her rights or testified or is about to testify in the proceeding or because of the exercise by the employee on behalf of himself, herself, or others of any rights afforded him or her; or

(3) Participated in an occupational health and safety committee.

An employee who is discriminated against for the any of the above reasons shall be entitled to reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work benefits caused by the acts of the employer. Any employer who willfully refuses to rehire, promote, or otherwise restore an employee or former employee who has been determined to be eligible for rehiring or promotion by a grievance procedure, arbitration, or hearing authorized by law, is guilty of a misdemeanor.


Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 USC Sections 2000e et seq.)

This law prohibits discrimination due to race, color, religion, sex or national origin by employers with fifteen or more employees. The enforcement provisions are under the jurisdiction of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) composed of five members appointed by the President with the consent of the Senate. The EEOC is empowered to file suit on behalf of the complainant in federal court after an attempt is made to fact find, conciliate and mediate the alleged act of discrimination. Based on the Supreme Court decision in Griggs v. Duke Power, the EEOC has been using statistical data to support claims of patterns of discrimination. Usually included in efforts for conciliation of specific claims is a stipulation for an affirmative action plan (AAP).

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended Title VII and established that discrimination based on pregnancy is covered under the prohibition against discrimination based on sex. The ban on discrimination based on pregnancy relates to both employment action (hiring, promotions, transfer, etc.) and fringe benefits.

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Civil Rights Act of 1991

This law amends Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act by reducing the burden of proof for claimants, allowing the right to a jury trial, and by expanding remedies available to prevailing parties.

Prevailing claimants can recover compensatory and punitive damages. Caps to these damages exist only for cases of sexual, religious or disability related discrimination. These caps vary according to employer size and range from $50,000 to $300,000. In contrast, California's Fair Employment and Housing Commission can award compensatory damages that, together with administrative fines, have a cap of $150,000 per complainant. The Commission has no authority to award punitive damages. Additionally, a state civil penalty of up to $25,000 can be applied and paid to the victim. In a state civil suit, there are no caps to awards.

Equal Pay Act of 1963 (29 USC Section 206)

The equal pay provisions of this Act prohibit discrimination in wages on the basis of sex within an establishment affecting interstate commerce. The enforcement is provided by the EEOC. The equal pay requirements, applying to exempt as well as non-exempt employees, specify that the employees of one sex must not be paid wages at rates lower than are paid employees of other sex for equal work in jobs requiring equal skill, effort and responsibility which are performed under similar working conditions. Pay differences for similar work are allowed where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex. The Act's provisions have been interpreted rather broadly by the courts in levying retroactive payments of awards for up to two years (three years for willful violations). The Act is administered by the EEOC.

Executive Order 11246

This Order prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin for employers with federal government contracts or subcontracts in excess of $10,000.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) under the Secretary of Labor is responsible for administration through the respective Federal contracting agencies. The main thrust of the Order is directed at an acceptable Affirmative Action Program (AAP) rather than individual complaints, which are turned over to the EEOC for resolution.

Employers having (non-construction) contracts or subcontracts of $50,000 or more and 50 or more employees must have a written AAP acceptable to the contracting agency or the contract may be cancelled, terminated or suspended.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) (29 USC Sections 621 et seq.)

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibits discrimination with respect to hiring, compensation, benefits and other privileges of employment on the basis of age 40 or older, by employers with 20 or more employees. The Act prohibits mandatory retirement in general. It is administered by the EEOC. Age discrimination is also prohibited by the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Executive Order 11141 for federal contractors and those receiving federal funds or grants, and the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990.

Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 (OWBPA)

This Act amended the ADEA to clarify the manner in which its requirements apply to employee benefit plans. This Act is intended to provide an "equal benefit or equal cost" rule to benefits provided to older workers. Employers may not provide benefits on the basis of age under this Act. Under the "equal benefit or equal cost" standard, if providing the same benefit costs more to provide to older employees, an employer may provide a reduced benefit as long as it does not spend less on the older worker to provide it.

Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRA) (38 USC Section 4211 et seq.)

This Act prohibits job discrimination and requires affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified Vietnam era veterans and qualified special disabled veterans. Covered employers are federal contractors or subcontractors with a contract of $10,000 or more. Such employers must list all job vacancies (except executive and top management positions) with the local office of the state employment development service. Additionally, covered employers must file an annual report, Form VETS-100. This form specifies by job category and hiring location the number of Vietnam era and disabled veterans hired during a 12-month period. This data is used to gauge both an employer's affirmative action compliance as well as its compliance with the duty to report job openings to the local employment development service.

Written AAPs for veterans are required of employers with 50 or more workers and federal contracts or subcontracts of at least $50,000, but the lengthy analysis required for AAPs for women and minorities is not required for veterans. This law is enforced by the OFCCP. This Act is administered by the Office of Veterans' Reemployment Rights in the Department of Labor. Claims not resolved by this agency are referred to federal court.

Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits job discrimination because of mental or physical disability by employers with federal contracts for supplies or services in excess of $2,500 annually. Under the Act, covered employers may not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities who, with reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job. Affirmative action is required to employ and advance qualified individuals. Written AAPs are required of employers with at least 50 employees and a covered contract of $50,000 or more, but the lengthy analysis required for AAPs for women and minorities is not required for veterans.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (42 USC Section 12101 et seq.)

This Act became effective July 26, 1992, and makes it unlawful for employers with 25 or more employees, engaged in an industry affecting interstate commerce, to discriminate against a qualified individual with a physical or mental disability as it relates to employment matters. A qualified individual is one who can perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation, which does not impose an undue hardship on the employer. The threshold for coverage is 15 employees. Titles I and V of the ADA is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state or local civil rights enforcement working with the Commission.

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) (8 USC 1324 et seq.)

Covered employers are prohibited from discriminating against any person (other than an unauthorized alien) in hiring, discharging, recruiting, or referring for a fee based on an individual's citizenship or national origin. Employers with four or more employees are covered under the Act's citizenship discrimination ban. Employers of fifteen or more employees are also covered under Title VII's national origin discrimination ban. All employers, regardless of employee size, must verify the identity and employment eligibility of all hired persons. This verification duty is met by completing and retaining the Form I-9 on each hire. Enforcement of IRCA's discrimination rules lies with the Special Counsel in the Department of Justice.

Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) (38 USC 4301 et seq.)

This Act supersedes the Veterans' Reemployment Rights Act and clarifies existing reemployment rights for military personnel, and expands job protections for veterans returning to civilian employment. The Act outlines obligations for employers, regardless of the number of employees, during and after employees' military service, and regardless of the type or nature of that service. An employer may not refuse military service leave simply because the timing, duration or frequency of an employee's absence poses operational difficulties. Employees with service related disabilities may have more right to a reasonable accommodation under this Act than under ADA because of the size of the employer. Employees are also entitled to continued benefits and pension rights while on leave. Employees on military leave who are covered by a health plan may have coverage continuation rights even if other employees do not.

National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) (29 USC Sections 151, et seq.)

This act confers upon employees the right to form, join or assist labor organizations; to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection. It prohibits discrimination against individuals because they engage in these protected activities.

Civil Rights Act of 1866 (42 USC Section 1981)

Section 1981 of this Act prohibits certain types of discrimination based on race. It applies to all employers unlike Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which only applies to employers with 15 or more employees.


Discriminatory Practices

The EEOC is responsible for handling discrimination complaints based on

Equal pay and compensation
Sexual harassment

It is illegal to discriminate in any aspect of employment, including:

Hiring and firing;

Compensation, assignment, or classification of employees;

Transfer, promotion, layoff, or recall;

Job advertisements;



Use of company facilities;

Training and apprenticeship programs;

Fringe benefits;

Pay, retirement plans, and disability leave; or

Other terms and conditions of employment.

Discriminatory practices also include:

Harassment on the basis of protected characteristics;

Retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices;

Employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of a certain sex, race, age, religion, or ethnic group, or individuals with disabilities; and

Denying employment opportunities to a person because of marriage to, or association with, an individual of a particular race, religion, national origin, or an individual with a disability.

Title VII also prohibits discrimination because of participation in schools or places of worship associated with a particular racial, ethnic, or religious group.

The EEOC states that distinctive treatment of pregnancy or maternity in the following situations continues to be unlawful because these criteria have a disproportionate impact on women and are therefore gender based, or are by their terms gender based:

Refusals to hire, train, assign or promote women who are pregnant, married or of childbearing age.

Mandatory maternity leaves for predetermined time periods.

Dismissals of pregnant women.

Denials of unemployment benefits to pregnant women.

Denials of reemployment rights to women on leave for pregnancy-related reasons.

Denials of seniority or longevity credit to women who have worked less than a stated time period.

Denials of accrued leave to pregnant women who have worked less than a stated time period.

Payment of lower periodic amounts to retired women according to sex-segregated actuarial tables.

Denials of medical benefits for disabilities which are unrelated to pregnancy or childbirth, whether or not they occur during pregnancy, childbirth, or recovery from childbirth.

Probably the most frequent charges of discrimination arise out of improper handling of recruitment and selection. Failure to include a significant number of applicants from a protected group can imply a pattern of discrimination against a group. It therefore behooves a company to contact referral sources that might be able to supply minority groups and female candidates. Such sources include the minority specialists at the Employment Development Department; private agencies specializing in such applicants, such as, the Urban League or the National Organization for Women; and advertisements in publications catering to the protected groups.

A very important area for concern lies in the basis for selection. Many companies have procedures in which both the initial interviewer and the supervisor participate in the selection procedure. This means that both should have a thorough understanding of the principles involved in non-discriminatory selection techniques as well as knowledge of specific danger areas for potential discrimination.

As a result of a U.S. Supreme Court decision, applicants must be chosen for employment based on standards that are job-related. Questions which do not seem to be job-related such as height, weight, color of hair, marital status and the like, are particularly suspect.

When an applicant is rejected, the interviewer should document the reason for the rejection based on a factor that is part of the job requirement. It may be necessary, in the event of a charge of discrimination, to defend the rejection at a later time when memories regarding the decision have become blurred. Application forms must be kept at least two years.

If the job classification has an underutilization of the particular protected group in which the applicant is a member, companies may be required to prove that the established selection standard is necessary for success on the job, or that it does not result in a disparate rejection rate of a protected group. The criterion used for establishing a disparate rejection rate is usually the ratio of minorities and women in the job category for which the applicant has applied to the total applicant pool.

The EEOC has issued guidelines about the type of employer policies that could lead to charges of discrimination. Six standards will be used and they will be directed at employers who:

Follow policies that result in low utilization of available minorities and women.

Pay women and minorities less than other workers that do comparable work.

Pay women and minorities less than other employees in comparable categories of jobs.

Use policies that have an adverse impact on workers protected by anti-discrimination laws when "business necessity", including bona fide occupational qualifications, doesn't justify the policy.

Neglect to hire/promote more women and minorities when opportunities, such as expansion of the workforce or high turnover, are present.

Because of their size, competitive position or influence, are likely to cause other employers to follow discriminatory practices.


All of the agencies charged with responsibility for enforcement of anti-discrimination laws emphasize the need for affirmative action. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) requires government contractors and subcontractors with 50 or more employees having contracts of $50,000 or more, to have an acceptable written Affirmative Action Program (AAP)

The goal of such an AAP is to achieve at all levels in the company's employment structure, a ratio of minorities and women proportionate to the labor force from which the contractor can be expected to draw.

To achieve this goal the agency has set forth the requirements of an acceptable AAP. The essential provisions of the program include an analysis of the company's workforce showing minorities and women at the various levels of skill and responsibility. This inventory must be compared to the ratio of minorities and women in the labor force from which the company can be expected to draw applicants. Where there may be underutilization of these protected groups by job classification, the company is expected to develop a program to eliminate the differences. Underutilization is defined as having fewer minorities and women in a classification than would reasonably be expected by their availability in the labor force.

If specific areas of underutilization occur the employer must establish goals and timetables designed to correct these disparities. Such goals should be realistic and attainable.

The main features of the program for correcting disparities include: designating an individual responsible for its implementation; positive action to enlarge the labor pool to include protected groups; communications within and without the company regarding the company's policy; and a procedure for auditing accomplishments.

Recently Revised Regulations

The OFCCP issued significant revisions effective December 13, 2000. The most important revisions are:

New Workforce Analysis Requirements

The new regulations permit the substitution of an organizational profile for the traditional workforce analysis. The organizational profile is essentially an organizational chart showing each of the contractor's organizational units and their relationships to one another, and the gender, racial, and ethnic composition of each organizational unit. The regulations permit federal contractors to continue to utilize the old-style workforce analysis rather than an organizational profile if they prefer to do so.

Availability Analysis

The new regulations replace the eight-factor availability analysis with a two-factor analysis. Contractors are now only required to look at external availability and internal availability of women and minorities.

Job Groups

The new regulations permit contractors with fewer than 150 employees to now utilize EEO-1 categories as job groups, rather than being required to create particular job groups tailored to their own organizations.


The new EO survey requests detailed information on a contractor's personnel activity, compensation and tenure of full-time employees, and general information about the contractor's current Affirmative Action Plan. Under the new regulations, the OFCCP will send the survey to half of all new construction contractors each year.

AAP Narrative

The narrative has been reduced from 10 to 4 components. They are: (1) responsibility for implementation of the AAP, (2) identification of problem areas, (3) designing internal audit and reporting systems for measuring the effectiveness of the AAP, and (4) development of action-oriented programs addressing any identified problem areas.


EEOC is an independent federal agency originally created by Congress in 1964 to enforce Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Commission is composed of five Commissioners and a General Counsel appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Commissioners are appointed for five-year staggered terms; the General Counsel's term is four years.

Many states and localities have anti-discrimination laws and agencies responsible for enforcing those laws. The EEOC refers to these agencies as "Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPA's)." Through the use of "work sharing agreements," the EEOC and the FEPA's avoid duplication of effort while at the same time ensuring that a charging party's rights are protected under both federal and state law.

If a charge is filed with a FEPA and is also covered by federal law, the FEPA "dual files" the charge with EEOC to protect federal rights. The charge usually will be retained by the FEPA for handling.

If a charge is filed with the EEOC and also is covered by state or local law, the EEOC "dual files" the charge with the state or local FEPA, but ordinarily retains the charge for handling.

In California the FEPA is the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).


The federal government requires all employers with 100 or more employees, and employers with federal contracts and 50 or more employees to file Employer Information Report EEO-1 (Standard Form 100) with the Joint Reporting Committee usually no later than September 30th of each year. This may now be done online at

Definitions prior to 2007

Racial/ethnic classification for the EEO-1 report, was based on the group to which the employee appeared to belong, identified with, or was regarded in the community as belonging to. Persons of mixed race had to be counted in one group only. Employers were able to get the race/ethnic information necessary for the report either by visual surveys of the work force, or from post-employment records as to the identity of employees. Eliciting information on the race/ethnic identity of an employee by direct inquiry was not encouraged.

The race/ethnic categories for thesurvey and Affirmative Action Plans were:

American Indian or Alaskan Native - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America, and who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.

Asian or Pacific Islander - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southwest Asia, the Indian subcontinent or the Pacific Islands. This includes, for example, China, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands, and Samoa. The Indian subcontinent includes the countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan.

Black, not Hispanic Origin - A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.

Hispanic - A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American or other Spanish culture or origin, descent or culture should be included in this category. Persons from Brazil, Guyana, Surinam, or Trinidad, for example, would be classified according to their race and would not necessarily be included in the Hispanic category. In addition, the category does not include persons from Portugal, who should be classified according to race.

White, not Hispanic Origin - A person having origins in any of the regional peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East.

Definitions to be used in 2007 and thereafter

Self-identification is now the preferred method of identifying the race and ethnic information necessary for the EEO-1 report. Employers are required to attempt to allow employees to use self-identification to complete the EEO-1 report. If an employee declines to self-identify, employment records or observer identification may be used.

Definitions of the race and ethnicity categories are as follows:

Hispanic or Latino - A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.

White (Not Hispanic or Latino) - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

Black or African American (Not Hispanic or Latino) - A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.

Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (Not Hispanic or Latino) - A person having origins in any of the peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

Asian (Not Hispanic or Latino) - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.

American Indian or Alaska Native (Not Hispanic or Latino) - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment.

Two or More Races (Not Hispanic or Latino) - All persons who identify with more than one of the above five races.

California Employer Information Report

The state counterpart to the EEO-1 report is the California Employer Information Report, which is called the "CEIR." It is also required of employers with 100 or more employees. However, it is not necessary to complete the CEIR if the employer completes the EEO-1 report. In California the Fair Employment and Housing Commission also requires employers to collect and retain data regarding the national origin of each job applicant.