Gender Self-Identification

Gender binary is the classification of gender into two distinct, opposite and disconnected forms of masculine and feminine, whether by social or cultural belief. Gender binary is also known as gender binarism, binarism, or genderism.

The number of people identifying as “gender-nonbinary”—meaning, as neither male nor female—is on the rise. According to Gender Wiki, people who have nonbinary genders may be androgynous or intergender, may have a neutral or unrecognized gender identity, may have multiple gender identities, may have a gender identity that varies over time, may have a partial connection to a gender identity, may be intersex, or may have a culturally specific gender identity that exists only within that culture. These identities are shifting the diversity conversation and raising new compliance challenges. Employers should review all aspects of LGBTQ and gender-nonbinary designations during annual harassment prevention training.

Review equal employment and anti-harassment policies to include protections for gender-nonconforming people. This particular step will send a message to all staff that the employer recognizes gender fluidity and promotes inclusion and diversity of many different types of people.

Nevertheless, gender-nonbinary status is a challenge for EEO-1 reporting, as the EEO-1 form has no option for employees who do not report as male or female. Employers with at least 100 employees must file the EEO-1 form annually with the EEOC, noting racial and gender composition of the workforce by specific job categories. However, at this point, the EEOC has not issued any guidance on how to best report gender-nonbinary employees on the EEO-1 form. Until the EEO-1 catches up with the rapid changes in gender conversations, employers should let workers self-identify their gender.

EEOC Reduces Employee Pay Data Requirements

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that it will not collect EEO-1 Component 2 data—pay information broken down by job category, race, sex and ethnicity—in the future. The agency concluded that the burden imposed on employers to gather the data outweighs the usefulness of the data for the agency. However, Component 2 data for 2017 and 2018 still must be submitted by Sept. 30 this year and courts might intervene to compel the EEOC to gather the data in future years despite this announcement. The EEO-1 Component 2 online filing system is now available on the EEOC’s website.

Please contact Chandra Davis at if you have questions regarding policies, procedures and reporting requirements.