Monday, November 28, 2011

EEOC Charges Set Multiple Records

On November 15, 2011, the EEOC released its annual Performance and Accountability Report, revealing that the agency received 99,947 charges of employment discrimination in fiscal year 2011, which is the highest number of charges filed in one year since the EEOC was established in 1965. That is approximately 274 charges per day. According to the Report, the EEOC ended its fiscal year with 78,136 pending charges, which is a decrease of 8,202 charges from the prior fiscal year.

The EEOC also obtained more than $364.6 million in monetary benefits for charging parties through administrative enforcement.  This is the highest level of monetary relief obtained in the EEOC's 46-year history.

In a written statement coinciding with the release of the Report, Jacqueline A. Berrien, chair of the EEOC, said “I am proud of the work of our employees and believe this demonstrates what can be achieved when we are given resources to enforce the nation’s laws prohibiting employment discrimination.”  She also said that “[t]he EEOC was able to take full advantage of increased resources in the past two fiscal years to make significant progress towards effective enforcement of the nation’s civil rights laws.”

As long as the economy continues to struggle and unemployment rates remain high, employers can anticipate that the number of EEOC charges will remain at historic levels.

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