EEOC: Definition of Internet Applicant

ABA Contact: Cris Naser, 202-663-5332
Published: 69 Federal Register 10152
Comments Due: May 3, 2004
Disposition: Filed May 3, 2004


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Department of Justice, and the Office of Personal Management requested comments on their joint proposal to update the definition of "applicant" with respect to individuals that use electronic communications to apply for jobs. The proposed amendments provide that a person becomes an applicant when:

  • The employer has acted to fill a particular position;
  • The individual has followed the employer's standard procedures for submitting applications; and
  • The individual has indicated an interest in the particular position.

ABA Comments

ABA urged the agencies to apply the three-pronged test to all applications, no matter what format they are received in. Otherwise, employers would face the enormous burden of creating two parallel tracking systems.  The current system would have to be maintained for applications received in paper form using the current definition of applicant in the Uniform Guidelines. An entirely new system would have to be created for applications received via electronic data processing technologies that would be based on the proposed three-pronged set of criteria for determining who is an applicant.

2004 Regulations Chart
Federal Register
Comment Letter

Questions?  Please contact Cris Naser for more information.