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What You Need to Know About EEO Job Categories

When hiring employees for your business, it’s essential to know about EEO job categories. You also need to know about the EEOC and how to apply equal opportunity employment laws when hiring employees.

Being careful not to discriminate based on any of the EEO traits. Categorizing employees based on their type of work will help you file accurate EEO-1 reports. It can also help you avoid possible litigation of EEOC violations.

What are EEO Categories?

There are ten EEO categories (the first one has two subcategories). These categories tell the EEOC what kind of work each person in an organization does.

What is the EEOC?

EEOC stands for Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They’re responsible for enforcing laws that prohibit discrimination against job applicants because of their racial, ethnic or religious background.

EEO laws cover most employers who have 15 or more employees. For cases of age discrimination, the employer must have a minimum of 20 employees. This includes most employment agencies and unions as well.

The laws cover various employment situations, including hiring, firing, promotion, training, pay and benefits.

They also try to prevent discrimination before it occurs through outreach, education and technical assistance programs.

What’s the Purpose of EEO Job Categories?

EEO-1 categories tell the EEOC what kind of work each employee in an organization does and their gender and race. These statistics help determine which industries, job types and geographies have a disproportionate number of women and minorities in the workforce.

Definitions and Examples of EEO categories

1.1 Executive and Senior-level Officials and Managers

Positions at the top of an organization fall into this category. They formulate company strategies, plan, direct and coordinate policies, and report directly to the board of directors. A few examples are:

  • COO
  • CEO
  • CFO
  • HR Director
  • Marketing Director

1.2 Managerial and First-level Officials

This is usually reserved for people under the direction of executives and senior managers. Generally, members of this group oversee regional and divisional operations. They carry out the plans and strategies of executives and senior officials. Job titles include:

  • Vice President
  • Operations Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Finance Manager
  • Education Administrator
  • HR Manager

2. Professionals

This category usually applies to jobs that require a relevant degree or certification, as well as some experience. Some examples are:

  • Trainer
  • Experts in finance
  • Underwriters at insurance companies
  • Programmer
  • Website Developer
  • Chemist

3. Technicians

Jobs in this category require specialized science skills acquired through vocational training or other means. The tasks involved in this category are typically manual labor and technical work, such as:

  • Civil Engineer
  • Engineering Technician
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Athletic Trainer

4. Sales Workers

This category is for people who work directly in sales. An employee must devote more time to selling than to completing other duties to classify as a sales worker. Typical titles include:

  • Retail store employees
  • Realtor
  • Telephone Marketer
  • Those who promote products
  • People responsible for approving loans

5. Administrative Support Workers

Individuals who work in an office usually fall into this category. Most of their work involves clerical tasks such as answering phones, filing and doing computer work. Typical jobs include:

  • Legal Assistant
  • Those who handle files
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Bank Teller
  • Customer Service Agent
  • Front Desk Staff

6. Craft Workers

Workers who fit this category are highly skilled at a specific skill that allows them to perform a particular job. Construction workers, miners and other industrial workers are in this category. Among the jobs in this category are:

  • Carpenter
  • Timber Worker
  • Automotive Mechanic
  • Pipelayer
  • Bicycle Repairman
  • Those who repair home appliances

7. Operatives

Workers in this category fall under the category of “semi-skilled” workers. Operatives’ responsibilities are less complex than those of craft workers. Most of them operate heavy machinery. Example jobs include:

  • Operators of loading machines
  • Assemblers of engines
  • Those who bake
  • Those who drive trucks
  • Meat butchers
  • Grinders for tools
  • Operators of printing presses
  • Operators of gas plants

8. Laborers and Helpers

The workers are considered unskilled because they follow detailed instructions to perform their duties. There are more manual labor roles in this category that require little training, such as:

  • Landscaper and Groundskeeper
  • Those who breed animals
  • Forester and Conservationist
  • Carpenter’s Assistant
  • Laborers in construction
  • Agricultural Worker
  • Automobile Cleaner

9. Service Workers

This category includes service-related jobs. Formal training may be required, but most of these jobs require experience related to the job. A few examples are:

  • Chef
  • Volunteer Firefighter
  • Agents of law enforcement
  • In-home Health Aide
  • Nurse Assistant
  • Dental Assistant
  • Security Guard
  • Those who serve drinks
  • Custodian
  • Cleaning Staff

Examples of How You Might Use EEO Codes

Below are examples of how companies might use EEO Codes. Your company may not have every type of employee, so make sure you put your employees in the correct category.

Example of EEO Codes in a Construction Company

  • 1.1 CEO
  • 1.2 Construction Manager
  • 2 Inspector of Construction
  • 3 Map Technician
  • 5 Timekeeping and Payroll Clerk
  • 6 Electrician
  • 7 Metalworker
  • 8 Construction Worker

EEO Codes for a Sales Company

  • 1.1 Chairman
  • 1.2 Vice President of Sales
  • 2 First-line Sales Manager
  • 4 Salesperson
  • 5 Accountant
  • 6 Driver

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks down these categories further and assigns specific job codes to different occupations.

How Do You Apply Equal Opportunity Employment?

Make sure you hire employees based on their skills. Don’t consider factors like age, gender, disability, religion, race, sexual orientation and national origin. If you make hiring decisions based on these factors, you could be charged with discrimination.

You can also apply EEO laws by using a blind recruitment process. During this process, job applications and resumes are stripped of all identifying information. Removing this information helps employers remove all the factors that aren’t relevant to the position from the equation.

Instead, you hire based on skills and experience, as you should. Many companies have found this a great way to adhere to EOE laws and employ diverse employees.

Examples of things that are against EEO guidelines include:

  • Employers fast-tracking applicants based on protected statuses. Employees have the right to apply for any job no matter who they are.
  • A company not advertising job openings to everyone. Management can choose to hire internally if the current employee is the best applicant for the job.
  • Denying an employee advancement opportunity based on a protected status. Performance should be the only factor that determines whether someone receives a promotion.
  • Training and development opportunities should be made available to everyone regardless of their status.
  • Everyone at a company should be treated equally when it comes to wages. An employee shouldn’t receive lower wages because of their protected status.
  • Companies cannot segregate employees based on a protected status. Color, sex or disability cannot be considered when you’re assigned office space, tasks or projects.
  • Laying off employees with more seniority first. Companies shouldn’t use a last in, first out policy to determine who gets laid off. This can be considered discrimination when the newest employees are the most talented, the youngest or the oldest. In that case, you could also lay off the lowest-performing employees first.

Consider removing these factors during a blind recruitment process:

  • The person’s name: Because it could give the employer a clue as to their gender or ethnicity.
  • Age: It’s illegal to discriminate against someone because of their age. Consider requiring the candidate’s date of birth to be removed from a resume.
  • Education: Employees can technically discriminate based on where someone obtained their education. However, is it valid? Many people don’t think it is, so they have their place of education removed.
  • Interests: A person’s interests shouldn’t affect whether you hire someone, so hiring managers often remove them in blind recruitment. Technically you could discriminate based on interests.
  • Gender: You shouldn’t accept an applicant based on their gender.
  • Ethnicity: Most people don’t include race in their resume. It should be removed during a blind recruitment process if they do.

How Are Equal Employment Opportunity Laws Enforced?

If someone claims they’re the subject of discrimination, they’ll go to the EEOC. It’s their job to investigate claims and see if they have merit. If they do, the EEOC will try to settle the claim, but otherwise they can sue the employer.

EEO Categories Frequently Asked Questions

Do all employers need to file an EEO-1 report?

If your company has 100 or more employees, you must file. In addition, federal contractors who have at least 50 employees and a contract worth $50,000 or more must file. The law does not require employers with fewer than 100 employees, or contractors with fewer than 50 employees, to file an EEO-1 report each year.

What are the ethnicity and race EEO categories?

They are:

  • White (not Hispanic or Latino)
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (not Hispanic or Latino)
  • American Indian or Native Alaskan (not Hispanic or Latino)
  • Asian (not Hispanic or Latino)
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Black or African American (not Hispanic or Latino)

As you hire employees, make sure you categorize them correctly based on their job title and ethnicity. Doing this will ensure you file accurate EEO-1 reports and avoid possible discrimination lawsuits.