Race Discrimination and Retaliation Charges See Record Highs

January 7, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that 93,277 workplace discrimination charges were filed with the agency nationwide during Fiscal Year 2009 - the second highest level ever.

According to a press release, the data shows that private sector job bias charges (which include those filed against state and local governments) alleging discrimination based on disability, religion, and/or national origin hit record highs. Continuing a decade-long trend, the most frequently filed charges with the EEOC in FY 2009 were race-based discrimination (36%), retaliation (36%), and sex-based discrimination (30%).

The number of charges alleging age-based discrimination reached the second-highest level ever.

The EEOC said the near-historic level of total discrimination charge filings may be due to multiple factors, including greater accessibility of the EEOC to the public, economic conditions, increased diversity and demographic shifts in the labor force, employees’ greater awareness of their rights under the law, and changes to the agency’s intake practices that cut down on the steps needed for an individual to file a charge.

Through its combined enforcement, mediation and litigation programs, the EEOC recovered more than $376 million in monetary relief for thousands of discrimination victims in the fiscal year.

The comprehensive enforcement and litigation statistics for FY 2009, which ended September 30, 2009, are at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/enforcement/index.cfm.