My employer here in the US told me that I have to provide an answer to my race & ethnicity today 1-15-2024, if I chose to not disclose then my boss has to do a visual and make the decision. How is this right and ethical? I told my boss that I did not agree and that since the option for 2 or more races was not there for me to select, I did not want to complete it. My boss then said she had to do a visual, I told her to do what she has to do. I feel this so wrong on many levels. My employer is very large and worldwide, I am sure they are not violating any US laws but how can our Federal Government make this a requirement of employers?

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    We need more information - have they said why they need this information? Commented Jan 15 at 19:12
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    Why do you believe this is governmental action rather than just a decision by your employer? Commented Jan 15 at 19:32
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    I've often been requested but never required to provide such information. But it may well have come down worded poorly to your manager. Now, should I ever be requested to do a 'visual' on my folks, my first question to my superior would be "Why???"...
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jan 15 at 21:30
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    @RohitGupta The irony is that filling in quotas is evil. Commented Jan 16 at 1:58
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    "How can our Federal Government make this a requirement of employers?" - They have not. If they are trying to claim there is a U.S. federal law, that requires them to collect this information, then the company is not telling you the truth. However, that does not mean, they necessarily cannot collect this type of information. They can ask for this information, but performing a visual determination, sounds like it would violate all sorts of US equal opportunity employment laws and EU labor laws.
    – Donald
    Commented Jan 16 at 16:30

2 Answers 2


On the contrary, US laws require employers to report statistics related to race. See this post about the 2019 federal ruling upholding/reinstating reporting requirements

How can they? The same ways they pass any laws. "Why?" might be a better question. ;-)


my boss has to do a visual and make the decision.

This is how you know it's bullshit. Any lawyer (or person that isn't insane) will tell you that clocking a person's race on sight isn't enough for DEI metrics.

how can our Federal Government make this a requirement of employers?

You are probably being lied to, in my opinion. There's no way any federal government would tell your employer "just use your best guess if they don't submit". The US law, and all other countries that I'm aware of, says that you don't have to identify yourself in any way, whether it is as a protected veteran, a disabled person, a person of color, a queer person, you name it.

They expose themselves to incredible legal liability if it's up to a manager to say "yeah this guy is probably gay, check the box".

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