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Kraigmo's avatar

If you were an employer and your job applicant exercised his/her right to not turn in your EEOC-required race survey, how would you feel?

Asked by Kraigmo (9005points) September 28th, 2021

The EEOC requires all American employers to collect data on race. When a job applicant is newly hired, s/he will typically get handed some forms to fill out, including the W2 IRS form and a race survey so they can report the results on their EEO-1 form.
It is mandatory for the employer to hand you a race survey.
But it is totally optional for you to fill it out and turn it in.
What if you were an HR director, or an HR worker, or a hiring manager and your new hire refused to fill the form out (as it is his or her legal right to do so).
Would you secretly judge the person as a racist? Or a potential troublemaker? Would you be worried that most fill the damn form out without question, but this new hire is thinking a bit too independently?

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8 Answers

snowberry's avatar

I wouldn’t care. It’s not my business. I just have to send the information to a government office if they do fill it in.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I agree with @snowberry – the applicant is exercising his/her right not to answer. None of my worry.

The implications are interesting, as you note in the last paragraph, @Kraigmo. Is this person not going to be a team player? Is this person going to be a royal pain the ass? And I am sure that the employer cannot make hiring decisions based on this refusal (although I imagine some do).

Having said that, sometimes I am just ornery and don’t fill that stuff out myself. Sometimes it is simply irrelevant, in my estimation.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’ll answer honestly here.

On the surface I would pretend it did not matter. But, I would wonder about the employee and would make double, triple, sure all my interactions with the individual were well documented.

zenvelo's avatar

I’m with @LuckyGuy. On the face of it, no big deal, but I would file it away menatlly to be wary. People don’t like it when a new hire has a chip on his shoulder and starts off with “it is my right to not fill out that form.”

I would not classify it as a racism issue, but more of a lack of cooperation. Next thing the new hire would be saying, “that wasn’t part of the job you hired me for.”.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

When on someone’s payroll, I do what is required by the laws (federal, state, local). While I understand that a company benefits from interviewing/hiring a diversity, I also need to prove that the person hired is the most qualified.

JLeslie's avatar

I should ask my husband. He actually deals with this very thing analyzing whether his company is paying equitably and if they are falling low par regarding minority hiring.

I personally would not judge the employee any differently. I completely understand being wary of filling out government forms for national origin or race.

If they didn’t turn it in, I would ask them if they forgot or have chosen not to turn it in and see if they voice their objections, and maybe I would be able to overcome the objections and they would turn in the form.

I don’t understand at all why someone would think the person might be racist. I must be missing something. Can a jelly explain that to me?

Troublemaker, I guess maybe I could see someone feeling that way, but I know in my case I certainly am a team player but still wary of the government keeping data. I do fill out the form though. I wouldn’t assume anything from this one thing.

I wonder if HR still classifies the employee as something in the personnel data.

Cupcake's avatar

Does HR actually get this information on new hires, on an individual basis? I was under the impression that HR only had and reported aggregate data of all (new) employees. I think it is fully inappropriate for HR to know whether I submitted it and what my individual responses were. I can’t respond to my HR and my race selection, but I did get a form about disabilities and was under the impression that it was anonymous (to be reported in aggregate), but I selected ‘yes’ and it shows up in my HR portal. I am not happy about that and would have responded differently, had I known.

Distrust of government forms is higher among racial/ethnic minorities and immigrants, so I would be worried about a racial bias in interpreting non-completion. For example, if your Black race employees statistically filled out the form less, and you were wary of that and, therefore, monitored them and documented your interactions more closely, you might be more likely to lay off your Black employees… just for having more eyes on them. This is inappropriate, in my opinion. Therefore, HR should not know.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cupcake The company records the data and keeps EEOC statistics.

My husband said if someone doesn’t fill it in the information is just left blank on the employee profile.

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