70. Racial/Ethnic Codes

In compliance with Department of Commerce Statistical Policy Directive 15, the Office of Personnel Management developed minority group designator codes to standardize the race and ethnic data collected by federal agencies. The collection of this data is provided for in 29 C.F.R. § 1613.302.

Effective January 1, 1981, the codes are:

  1. American Indian or Alaskan Native;
  2. Asian or Pacific Islander;
  3. Black, not of Hispanic Origin;
  4. Hispanic;
  5. White, not of Hispanic Origin;
  6. Not Hispanic in Puerto Rico; and
  7. Employees in Guam or Hawaii.

To facilitate the collection of the data, OPM also developed Standard Form 181 (SF-181), Race and National Origin Identification. Copies are available through normal GSA supply channels.

A SF-181 must be completed by all new employees. The form should be forwarded to the Personnel Management staff with other required entrance-on-duty paperwork.

Employees must be informed that the collection of this information is mandatory and is subject to the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974. If an employee does not want to complete the SF-181 when he or she enters on duty, the code which appropriately describes the individual should be determined by visual survey and a copy of the form submitted for him/her.

[cited in USAM 3-5.130]

Updated September 19, 2018