EEOC Defines 'Applicant' for Internet Recordkeeping

March 4, 2004 ( - An algae bloom of Internet recruitment over the past few years has led to clarification of the recordkeeping provisions concerning who is an "applicant" when Internet companies get involved.

The new recordkeeping guidance would apply exclusively to the Internet and related technologies, including Internet resume banks and job boards, and employers’ own Web sites, resume databases and online job listings.   The update will clarify the 1970’s eraexisting recordkeeping guidance regarding race, gender, and ethnicity which is set forth under the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (UGESP), according to a news release issued by the USEqual Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or Commission), in conjunction with the Departments of Labor (DoL) and Justice and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

In official venacular, the EEOC will define applicant as:   “In order for an individual to be an applicant in the context of the Internet and related electronic data processing technologies, the following must have occurred:

  • the employer has acted to fill a particular position
  • the individual has followed the employer’s standard procedures for submitting applications
  • the individual has indicated an interest in the particular position.”

Existing UGESP guidelines would continue to apply to traditional non-electronic recruitment and selection.

“With the daily online transmission of hundreds of thousands of resumes, there is a critical need to provide supplemental guidance that is aimed at protecting the rights of applicants, while relieving employers of onerous recordkeeping requirements,” EEOC Chair Cari Dominguez said in the news release.

The update will be published in the March 4 Federal Register.