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MARCO ISLAND — If you want to know the racial breakdown of employees working for the city of Marco Island, don’t ask either the city or the federal agency that’s supposed to monitor it.
Marco Island, which employed 225 as of June 19, is required to file the information with the federal government. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires local governments with 100 or more employees to file an employment report every other year, according to the EEOC’s website.
“We don’t have a report to share with you that tracks race and gender,” said Laura Litzen, city clerk for Marco Island. “Race, I am a little bit stunned that the government would track things like that. I don’t know how you can be anti-discriminatory and track people by their races.”
Local governments that don’t file the every-other-year report “may be compelled to file by order of a U.S. District Court, upon application of the Attorney General,” according to EEOC regulations.
“I guess if there is some reporting that is necessary, nobody has ever asked us to fill out a report,” Litzen said.
The report has been required since 1973; Marco has been a city for more than a decade.
The EEOC depends on voluntary compliance, Justine Lisser, senior attorney adviser of the office of communication for the EEOC, wrote in an email.
“We have no way to know if municipalities have 100 employees … if they do not self-report,” Lisser said.