[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 178 (Friday, September 13, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 56696-56701]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-22300]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION


Agency Information Collection Activities

AGENCY: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

ACTION: Notice of information collection--Revised: Demographic 
Information on Applicants for Federal Employment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 
U.S.C. Chapter 35, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 
(Commission or EEOC) announces that it intends to revise a Commission 
form (Demographic Information on Applicants, OMB No. 3046-0046) to 
include disability status data.

DATES: Written comments on this notice must be submitted on or before 
October 15, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be sent to the Executive Officer, Executive 
Secretariat, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street NE., 
Washington, DC 20507. As a convenience to commenters, the Executive 
Secretariat will accept comments totaling six or fewer pages by 
facsimile (``FAX'') machine. This limitation is necessary to assure 
access to the equipment. The telephone number of the fax receiver is 
(202) 663-4114. (This is not a toll-free number). Receipt of FAX 
transmittals will not be acknowledged, except that the sender may 
request confirmation of receipt by calling the Executive Secretariat 
staff at (202) 663-4070 (voice) or (202) 663-4074 (TTD). (These are not 
toll-free telephone numbers.) Instead of sending written comments to 
the EEOC, you may submit comments and attachments electronically at 
http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. 
Follow the instructions online for submitting comments. All comments 
received through this portal will be posted without change, including 
any personal information you provide. Copies of comments submitted by 
the public to the EEOC directly or through the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal will be available for review, by advance appointment only, at 
the Commission's library between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. 
or can be reviewed at http://www.regulations.gov. To schedule an 
appointment to inspect the comments at EEOC's library, contact the 
library staff at (202) 663-4630 (voice) or (202) 663-4641 (TTY). (These 
are not toll-free numbers.)

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barbara Dougherty, Federal Sector 
Programs, Office of Federal Operations, 131 M Street NE., Washington, 
DC 20507, (202) 663-4770 (voice); (202) 663-4593 (TTY).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, and OMB regulation 5 CFR Sec.  
1320.8(d)(1), the Commission sought public comment on revising its form 
for use by federal agencies in gathering demographic information on 
applicants for federal employment through a 60-day notice published 
February 15, 2013. Comments were particularly invited on whether this 
collection of information will enable the Commission and federal 
agencies to:
    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed data collection tool will have 
practical utility by enabling a federal agency to determine whether 
recruitment activities are effectively reaching all segments of the 
relevant labor pool in compliance with the laws enforced by the 
Commission and whether the agency's selection procedures allow all 
applicants to compete on a level playing field regardless of race, 
national origin, sex or disability status;
    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of 
the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on 
applicants for federal employees who choose to respond, including 
through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or 
other technological collection techniques or other forms of

[[Page 56697]]

information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of 
responses.
    Four comments were received. The first commenter was pleased that 
the revised form used more expansive language and definitions for 
impairments than that used by OPM's Standard Form 256, thereby taking 
the focus off the medical condition and putting it on the functional 
limitation. That commenter believed it would be helpful if EEOC and OPM 
agreed to revise the SF-256 so that it used the terms and definitions 
in the revised applicant flow form. A second commenter, however, noted 
that the list of conditions collected in Section 5.A of the form are 
similar, but not identical, to the list of targeted/severe disabilities 
listed on SF-256, while the information in Section 5.C of the form 
appeared to be similar to the list of non-targeted disabilities on SF-
256. That commenter believed it essential that the information 
collected of applicants mirror the information collected from employees 
on SF-256 to ensure an appropriate comparison of the two populations. 
The commenter recommended that the list of disabilities on the 
applicant flow form be identical to the SF-256.
    We have revised the form so that the types of disabilities listed 
on the form more closely match those listed on the SF-256. We have 
updated some of the listed disabilities to include terms that are 
simpler to understand (for examples, removing much of the parenthetical 
language used in the SF-256 that describes missing extremities or 
paralysis). The Commission concurs that the applicant flow form and the 
SF-256 should mirror each other in order to provide for effective data 
collection. We address that issue below, in our responses to the fourth 
commenter.
    A third commenter had specific suggestions for revising the 
language used in section 5.A of the form. It urged that the term 
``severe'' be replaced with the term ``significant,'' as the term 
``severe'' often is associated with negative or stigmatizing views 
about disability. The commenter was concerned that many individuals 
with disabilities might not identify themselves as having a ``severe'' 
condition. The commenter also requested that we drop the word 
``severe'' from our description of ``severe intellectual disability,'' 
noting that while individuals with intellectual disabilities may 
experience a variety of limitations, all such disabilities contain 
impairments in functioning that are of such significance that they 
warrant being included on the list of targeted disabilities. The 
commenter also requested that we replace the term ``psychological'' 
with ``psychiatric'' when describing disorders such as bipolar, 
schizophrenia, PTSD, and major depression.
    We find the recommendations suggested by this commenter reasonable 
and have adopted them in the revised form. We have replaced ``severe'' 
with ``significant'' and changed ``psychological'' to ``psychiatric.'' 
We have removed ``severe'' from the description of intellectual 
disability.
    Finally, the commenter questioned the utility of including Section 
5.B, the questions derived from the American Community Survey (ACS). 
The commenter believed that the questions fail to identify many 
individuals with disabilities with other types of functional 
limitations. It requested the addition of another question in that 
section that would state: ``difficulty with everyday activities such as 
interacting with others, thinking, preparing food, taking medications, 
or managing finances.''
    A fourth commenter had a series of concerns with our proposed 
applicant flow form. Similar to the third commenter, this commenter 
took issue with including Section 5.B on the form. It believed the 
limited list of functional limitations presented in this section does 
not reflect likely workplace concerns and does not collect information 
that would be useful in tracking information on applicants with 
disabilities. The commenter was concerned that applicants might be 
dissuaded from responding truthfully to questions regarding their 
difficulty in concentrating, remembering, or making decisions. 
Including such questions would, in this commenter's opinion, undermine 
the EEOC's goal of providing more accurate information about applicants 
and employees with disabilities. Moreover, the commenter believed that 
the ACS questions, which include questions on one's bathing or dressing 
limitations, might be considered intrusive and potentially 
inappropriate in the context of applicant data collection.
    In response to these comments, we have revised the form to remove 
the ACS questions. While the ACS questions provide meaningful data 
concerning functional limitations, the questions would in part 
duplicate the inquiry in section 5.A. Additionally, after discussions 
with OMB and OPM, we believe that the data collected through the ACS 
questions would be best compared to data collected from the onboard 
federal workforce rather than from applicants for employment. During 
these conversations, OPM stated that it would determine the feasibility 
of surveying the federal workforce to obtain ACS disability data.
    The fourth commenter generally supported the efforts of the 
Commission to change the form in order to obtain a broader range of 
data regarding applicants for employment. However, the commenter had 
concerns regarding the format utilized in the proposed form. First, in 
order to avoid confusion, this commenter recommended using the term 
``disabilities and/or health conditions.'' The commenter was also 
concerned with creating different classes of disabilities, by listing 
some specifically while not listing others. The commenter further noted 
that many applicants with disabilities not on the list in Section 5.A 
could still be considered for employment under the special hiring 
authority set out in Schedule A at 5 CFR Sec.  213.3102(u). The 
commenter was concerned that by separating the disabilities in Section 
5.C from those in Section 5.A, the form might undermine efforts to 
ensure that all members of the disability community are aware of their 
eligibility for hiring under Schedule A.
    The fourth commenter was also concerned that the proposed form's 
lack of specificity regarding the types of other disabilities and 
health conditions traditionally collected by the Federal government 
through SF-256 would make it difficult to link current data with 
historical data. This commenter recommended asking applicants for 
employment to identify their specific disabilities or serious health 
conditions even if they did not fall within the list generally known as 
targeted disabilities in Section 5.A. The commenter believed this 
important for several reasons. According to the commenter, collecting 
information about all disabilities and serious health conditions allows 
linkages with other data (including data from the SF-256) in such a way 
that appropriate comparisons may be made. The current SF-256 asks 
employees to identify whether they have many different types of 
disabilities and health conditions. The commenter was concerned that by 
not collecting the same type of specific disability and health 
conditions data for applicants, future comparisons of the data related 
to hiring rates would not be possible and trend analysis would be 
undermined. Moreover, this commenter believed that the designation of 
which disabilities are considered significant or targeted disabilities 
may change over time, and that by collecting only summary information 
on the non-targeted disabilities, future comparisons of data might be 
precluded. Finally, the commenter stated that failing to collect

[[Page 56698]]

information on specific non-targeted disabilities would run counter to 
the broad definition of disability established by the ADA Amendments 
Act.
    In response to the concerns raised by the fourth commenter, the 
Commission has made a number of changes in the form. First, the revised 
form no longer separates out the other serious health conditions in 
Section 5.C from the list of disabilities in Section 5.A. Instead, we 
have added the question about disabilities and other serious health 
conditions to the list set out in the original form in Section 5.A. 
This should alleviate any concerns that non-targeted disabilities or 
health conditions are being treated differently than the targeted 
disabilities. We have also included a paragraph on the form directly 
under the newly revised Section 5.A which explains that, if an 
applicant has checked any of the boxes listed in the new Section 5.A, 
he or she may be eligible for hiring under Schedule A, with a link for 
more information on Schedule A hiring. Thus, applicants who check the 
``other disability or serious health condition'' box will know that 
they may be able to utilize Schedule A hiring authority.
    Second, we have created a new optional Section 5.A.1, which would 
provide those applicants who wish to identify their other disabilities 
or serious health conditions the option of doing so. Section 5.A.1 
consists of a list of disabilities and other serious health conditions 
that the applicant may indicate that he or she currently has. This list 
corresponds closely to the other disabilities and health conditions 
currently listed on the SF-256. By allowing for an option specifically 
to identify the types of disabilities or serious health conditions 
listed in 5.A.1, the form now provides an opportunity for disability 
data collection between applicants to the federal workforce and those 
hired by the federal government. However, by keeping this list optional 
and available only if the applicant checks the appropriate box in 
Section 5.A, and by providing the option for the applicant to indicate 
that he or she does not wish to identify a disability or serious health 
condition, the Commission believes it will receive more accurate data 
on the total number of applicants with disabilities. To the extent 
there are differences between the new applicant flow form and the 
current SF-256, our understanding is that OPM will review and consider 
modifications to the SF-256 in the near future so that the two forms 
will be effective in collecting data.
    Finally, this commenter voiced its support for the way the form 
collects information on intellectual disabilities, in particular the 
distinction made between intellectual disabilities, developmental 
disabilities and traumatic brain injury. The commenter believes that 
the separation of these types of disabilities will result in increased 
self-identification rates and therefore more accurate data. The 
commenter also suggested adding a parenthetical pointing out that the 
Commission, by breaking out certain types of disabilities from the 
category of ``intellectual disabilities,'' does not mean that the term 
``intellectual disabilities'' will have a narrower scope for other 
purposes.
    We do not believe that adding developmental disability and 
traumatic brain injury to our list of disabilities in Section 5.A would 
lead applicants to believe that we are narrowing the scope of the term 
intellectual disability. The Commission therefore has not added the 
parenthetical.

Overview of This Information Collection

    Collection Title: Demographic Information on Federal Job 
Applicants.
    OMB Control No.: 3046-0046.
    Description of Affected Public: Individuals submitting applications 
for federal employment.
    # of Annual Responses: 5,800.
    Estimated Time per Respondent: 3 minutes.
    Total Annual Burden Hours (5,800 x 3)/60 = 290.
    Annual Federal Cost: None.
    Abstract: Under section 717 of Title VII and 501 of the 
Rehabilitation Act, the Commission is charged with reviewing and 
approving federal agencies plans to affirmatively address potential 
discrimination before it occurs. Pursuant to such oversight 
responsibilities, the Commission has established systems to monitor 
compliance with Title VII and the Rehabilitation Act by requiring 
federal agencies to evaluate their employment practices through the 
collection and analysis of data on the race, national origin, sex and 
disability status of applicants for both permanent and temporary 
employment.
    Several federal agencies (or components of such agencies) have 
previously obtained separate OMB approval for the use of forms 
collecting data on the race, national origin, sex, and disability 
status of applicants. In order to avoid unnecessary duplication of 
effort and a proliferation of forms, the EEOC seeks approval for the 
use of a common form to be used by all federal agencies.
    Response by applicants is optional. The information obtained will 
be used by federal agencies only for evaluating whether an agency's 
recruitment activities are effectively reaching all segments of the 
relevant labor pool, to gauge progress and trends over time with 
respect to equal opportunity goals, and to track progress toward 
meeting the recruitment and hiring strategies developed pursuant to EO 
13548. The voluntary responses are treated in a highly confidential and 
anonymous manner, are not shared with those involved in the selection 
process or the supervisor (if the person is hired) and will not be 
placed in the employees' personnel file. The information is not 
provided to any panel rating the applications, to selecting officials, 
to anyone who can affect the application or to the public. Rather, the 
information is used in summary form to determine trends over many 
selections within a given occupational or organization area. No 
information from the form is entered into an official personnel file.

Burden Statement

    Because of the predominant use of online application systems, which 
require only pointing and clicking on the selected responses, and 
because the form requests only eight questions regarding basic 
information, the EEOC estimates that an applicant can complete the form 
in approximately 3 minutes or less. Based on past experience, we expect 
that 5,800 applicants will choose to complete the form.
    Once OMB approves the use of this common form, federal agencies may 
request OMB approval to use this common form without having to publish 
notices and request public comments for 60 and 30 days. Each agency 
must account for the burden associated with their use of the common 
form.

    Dated: September 9, 2013.

For the Commission.
Jacqueline A. Berrien,
Chair.

[[Page 56699]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN13SE13.000


[[Page 56700]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN13SE13.001


[[Page 56701]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN13SE13.002


[FR Doc. 2013-22300 Filed 9-12-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6570-01-P