OK for employer to ask applicant about race and ethnicity?

What does the federal law say about requiring an employee to self-identify about race/ethnicity?

Steve Duggan replies:

If an employee or applicant for employment is asked that question, it is almost certainly because of Federal government Affirmative Action regulations requiring employers to gather this data and report it to the EEOC. Employers may not use that information for any other purpose and must keep it private.

Posted 05-11-2016

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.


About the Author:

Steve Duggan graduated from the Law School at the University of Notre Dame while on active duty in the Air Force. He has extensive experience representing management litigating cases of wrongful termination, employment discrimination, and sexual harassment. Steve also has experience in all phases of administrative litigation of unfair labor practice charges, and class and individual complaints of employment discrimination. He has been an instructor of seminars for supervisors and managers on labor management relations and other personnel issues, and for lawyers in basic and advanced trial advocacy courses. Steve came on board with Fair Measures in 1998.