How to Self-Identify
Self-identifying is quick, voluntary, and confidential. You can update/verify your race, ethnicity, disability, and protected veteran status all in the Employee Self Service (ESS) site within OneUSG Connect. We encourage you to update these records by following these quick steps to self-identify:
- Step 1: Log in to Employee Self Service (ESS)
- Step 2: Click the “Personal Details” Tile
- Step 3: Self-Identify by clicking the following links on the left!
- Click “Ethnic Groups” to update/verify race and ethnicity and then click “Save”
- Click “Disability” to update/verify disability status; check the box, if applicable and then click “Submit”
- Click “Veteran Status” to update/verify veteran status; check the appropriate box, if applicable and then click “Submit”
Why Self-Identification is Important
Self-identification is an important tool to produce data needed to accurately measure employment progress. Also, the federal government has issued regulations requiring federal contractors to practice equal employment opportunity and affirmative action for women, ethnic/racial minorities, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans. Georgia Tech is federal contractor and is required to reach out to all employees and provide them the opportunity to self-identify periodically.
- Why is this information being requested?
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance regulations require federal contractors like Georgia Tech and GTRI collect and report annually on the number of protected class members (females, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities [IWDs]) who apply for positions as well as the number of protected class members hired, promoted, and separated by the organization. Accuracy of this data is extremely important for compliance purposes.
- Haven’t I been asked this information before?
Yes, though in a different manner. This information is commonly requested by employers during the hiring process, usually within the employment application itself. All U.S. employers with fifty employees are required by law to request these disclosures.
- I have already provided you with this information. Why are you asking me to disclose it again?Your status may have changed. For example, a disability may occur at any time. It may also be the case that federal regulations status choices may have been updated since you disclosed this information. Finally, anyone who has not previously disclosed their protected class status may do so now, if they choose.
- How will this information be used?
The information is used for data collection and mandatory federal reporting. We also use the information to determine on an aggregate basis information about Georgia Tech and GTRI’s diversity, and where we can augment efforts to recruit and retain a diverse workforce. The data is not connected to individual employment records.
- If this is focused on disability, then why are you asking about race/ethnic groups and veteran status?
We are offering you the opportunity and choice to review and update all your demographic information.
- If I choose not to disclose this information, will it be held against me? Will I be labeled?
No. The opportunity to report your protected class status is optional, voluntary, and confidential. Individuals who elect not to disclose this information will not be subjected to any negative action.
- What is the purpose of the employee voluntary self-identification effort?
The purpose of employee self-identification effort is to collect information so the Georgia Tech and GTRI can monitor the equity performance of programs and design new measures that achieve greater equity, diversity and inclusion in the University and research enterprises.
- Who has access to this information?
The information you provide can be accessed only by select individuals within Georgia Tech Human Resources, GTRI-Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and a limited number of other offices where job duties require use of the information. This information is not released except as necessary to fulfill legitimate Georgia Tech/GTRI federally mandated objectives.
- Why is Hispanic-Latino not listed as a race category?
The federal government considers “Hispanic/Latino” to be a national origin category, and not a race category. Under the new guidelines, an individual can be Hispanic/Latino AND white, for example, or Hispanic/Latino AND black/African American. The federal government requires us first to ask whether employees are Hispanic/Latino, and then to ask employees to identify their race.
- Who counts as a Hispanic-Latino?
A Hispanic or Latino person is of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. The term "Spanish origin" can be used in addition to Hispanic or Latino.
- What are the current race categories?
The current federal categories are:
- White - having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa
- Black or African American - having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa
- Asian - having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam
- American Indian or Alaska Native – having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander – having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands
- What if I have origins in more than one race category?
You may select as many categories that apply.
- What is considered a disability?
You are considered to have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity, or if you have a history or record of such an impairment or medical condition. This includes both disabilities that may be apparent to others (ex. a condition requiring the use of a wheelchair or other assistive device) and “hidden” disabilities (ex. major depression, diabetes, epilepsy). A condition would meet the definition of disability if, on either a regular or intermittent basis, it affects common activities of daily life, which could include (but are not limit to) caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.
- I am concerned about others knowing that I have a disability. Do I have to disclose this information?
You are not required to disclose information about your disability. Please be assured, however, that if you do disclose this information, it will be strictly confidential and will not be shared with your supervisor, manager, or others within your department. Additionally, no one at Georgia Tech and GTRI can treat you adversely or take any action against you for having a disability. With your permission, this information may be shared with emergency management personnel if you require evacuation assistance in the event of an emergency.
- My disability does not affect my work. Can I still report it?
Yes. As long as your disability affects any major life activity, you still may report it. This is the case even if you are not requesting reasonable accommodations. This information helps the university understand the overall composition of our workforce.
- Why is veteran status being asked for?
Federal contractors are required to take affirmative steps to recruit and hire protected veterans. In 2014, the federal government instituted new requirements that include a periodic resurvey of employees’ veteran status.
- What are the new categories for protected veterans. Why don’t other veterans count as protected veterans?
The federal government defines “protected veterans” under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), which was originally passed in 1974. It has since updated the definition of “protected veterans” to include the following categories:
- ARMED FORCES MEDAL VETERAN—Any veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985.
- DISABLED VETERAN—A veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under the laws administered by the Secretary of Veteran Affairs, or a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.
- ACTIVE DUTY WARTIME OR CAMPAIGN BADGE VETERAN—A veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized, under the laws administered by
- RECENTLY SEPARATED VETERANS: Any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran's discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service. For purposes of the survey, Georgia Tech and GTRI must comply with the definition of “protected veteran” provided by the federal government.
- Who should I contact if I have any questions?
Please contact Dr. Ann F. Harris, Compliance Adviser at firstname.lastname@example.org.