The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP) released information Monday on the race and ethnicity, gender and job categories of workers at federal contractors and first-tier subcontractors.
The data was made available as the result of Freedom of Information Act requests — and a subsequent lawsuit — by the not-for-profit Center for Investigative Reporting news organization for Type 2 Consolidated EEO-1 reports from 2016 through 2020 for federal contractors with 50 or more employees and more than one location.
The OFCCP released information on 19,289 businesses that did not submit objections to having their data shared. Companies were given several opportunities to object and had until March 31 to contest the release of their information.
The information of the 4,365 businesses that did object may still be shared in a later release, after it is determined if the data falls under exemption 4 of the FOIA, which protects "trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person [that is] privileged or confidential,” per the U.S. Department of Justice. The Department of Labor also is evaluating claims by 360 companies that they are not federal contractors and shouldn’t be included in the data release.
“The releases of Type 2 EEO-1 data thus far have been from federal contractors that either affirmatively agreed to, or otherwise did not object to, disclosure of the data. For contractors that did object, OFCCP is in the process of evaluating those objections to determine if they provide a basis for withholding disclosure pursuant to FOIA Exemption 4. If OFCCP concludes that any of these objections do not provide a basis for withholding under FOIA Exemption 4, it will release the data a reasonable time after notifying the contractor of its determination,” a Department of Labor spokesperson told HR Dive via email.
The Department of Labor estimated the overall data request covers about 24,000 federal contractors and 75,000 reports, according to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
The Center for Investigative Reporting submitted FOIA requests for the data starting in 2019.