Discrimination Claims Hit 7-Year High

February 7, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A soft job market, an aging workforce, and post 09/11 tensions have contributed to the most job discrimination claims in seven years, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC said that complaints increased more than 4% to 84,442 during the 2002 budget year, up from 80,840 the previous year.   According to the Associated Press, that is the largest number of complaints since 1995, when 87,529 were filed.

Type “Casts”

Religious complaints increased 21%, age complaints were up 14.5%, and there were 13% more national origin complaints.

However, race and gender discrimination claims continued to dominate, with 35% and 30% of the total claims, respectively.

The EEOC resolved 95,222 cases last year, a 5% increase from a year ago.   A record $310.5 million in monetary benefits for complainants was recovered, while the average time to process a complaint declined 6% to 171 days.   Furthermore, the EEOC said the backlog of complaints awaiting investigation dropped 10% to 29,041, the lowest level in 31 years.

The most complaints came from retail, food services, and manufacturing industries.