Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 60: Personnel

Employee Demographics: Sex, Race, Ethnicity, Disability, and Veteran Status

BPPM 60.35

For more information contact:
   Compliance and Civil Rights


The federal government requires WSU to maintain a record of the sex, race, and ethnicity of each employee; and where possible, the sex, race, and ethnicity of each applicant or Internet Applicant as defined in 41 CFR 60-1.3. (See also Executive Order 11246, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and 41 CFR 60-1.12.) 

Pre-Offer Invitation to Self-Identify

Job applicants are invited to voluntarily self-identify their sex, race, ethnicity, disability status, and veteran status prior to an offer of employment through an online form that is included in the job application process on the HRS website. 

Candidates who request an alternative means to apply for a position must also be invited to voluntarily self-identify. (41 CFR 60-1.12)

Information submitted through this form is kept confidential to the extent allowable by law, is only available to a limited number of WSU personnel with a legitimate need to know and is not available to interviewers or to departments prior to selection.

Post-Offer Invitation to Self-Identify

Even though candidates may self-identify demographic information during the application process, WSU also invites prospective employees to self-identify their sex, race, ethnicity, disability and veteran status after an offer of employment is made but prior to beginning work. A notification appears inviting new employees to self-identify their demographic information when they first log into their Workday account. Employees may also update their demographic information at any time through Workday self-service options. See BPPM 90.75.

Re-Invitation to Self-Identify

WSU must re-invite employees to self-identify their disability and veteran status at least every five years. Compliance and Civil Rights (CCR) sends an e-mail invitation to all WSU employees every five years asking them to verify or update their employee demographic information in Workday.


WSU uses the following definitions for employee demographic data collection as required by the federal government:


WSU is required to report aggregate data regarding sex to multiple federal agencies (i.e., Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Department of Education, etc.). These federal agencies only allow for male and female sex designations. Note: Washington State law and WSU recognize that this binary definition of sex does not reflect the accurate sex designation of all of our students and employees. See BPPM 90.75.

Race and Ethnicity

Federal regulations require WSU to ask about race and ethnicity using specific definitions. Note: These definitions do not necessarily reflect WSU’s broader recognition of the manner in which different peoples wish to identify themselves.

WSU is required to ask about race and ethnicity as a two-part question where an applicant or employee is first asked whether they are:

  • Hispanic or Latina/o, or
    Not Hispanic or Latina/o, and then
  • What race or races they identify as.

If the applicant answers that they identify as Hispanic or Latina/o, they are reported as Hispanic or Latina/o regardless of whether or not they identify as any of the race categories, or regardless of what race they have identified as.

EXAMPLE: If an applicant identifies as Hispanic or Latina/o and also identifies as White and/or Black/African American, they are reported as Hispanic or Latina/o. However, if an applicant identifies as Not Hispanic or Latina/o and White and Black or African American, they are reported as “Two or More Races.”

All federal contractors are required to collect employee demographic data in this manner.


Hispanic, Latina/o, or Spanish Origin – A person with origins of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. (Code 40)


Asian – A person with 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. (Code 10)

Black or African American – A person with origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa. (Code 20)

American Indian or Alaska Native – A person with origins in any of the original peoples of North America and South America (including Central America), and who maintains tribal affiliation or community recognition as American Indian or Alaska Native. (Code 30)

White – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. (Code 50)

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands. (Native Hawaiian does not include individuals who are native to the state of Hawaii by virtue of being born there.) (Code 60)

Two or More Races – This does not appear as an option for employees to select in Workday. However, if an employee selects two or more race categories and not Hispanic/Latino, they are reported as Two or More Races for required federal reports. (Code 90)

Protected Veteran Status

WSU is a government contractor subject to the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended by the Jobs for Veterans Act of 2002, 38 U.S.C. 4212 (VEVRAA). Protected veteran status requires government contractors to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment protected veterans.

WSU is required to submit a report to the United States Department of Labor each year identifying the number of our employees belonging to each of the following specified “protected veteran” categories.

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 the Department of Defense.

Armed Forces Service 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 (61 FR 1209).

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 laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or
  • Who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.
Recently Separated Veteran

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.

Disability Status

WSU is a government contractor subject to the Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires Government contractors to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment individuals with disabilities.

Disability A person is considered to have a disability if they have any of the following:

  • Physical or mental impairment, or medical condition, that substantially limits a major life activity; or
  • History or record of such an impairment or medical condition.
  • Disabilities include, but are not limited to:


  • Autoimmune disorder (e.g., lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or HIV/AIDS)
  • Blind or low vision
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular or heart disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastrointestinal disorders (e.g., Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Intellectual disability
  • Missing limbs or partially missing limbs
  • Nervous system condition (e.g., migraine headaches, Parkinson’s disease, or Multiple sclerosis (MS))
  • Psychiatric condition (e.g., bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, or major depression)

Revisions:  December 2021 (Rev. 582); May 2001 (Rev. 185); July 1976 – new policy (Rev. 12).