Are you curious as to what the EEOC has been up to in the past year? The wait is over — in its 2017 Enforcement and Litigation Data released last week, the EEOC identified the volume and types of workplace discrimination charges keeping its staff busy during FY2017 (ending in September 2017). While FY2017 saw 84,254 charges coming through the EEOC’s doors, this figure is the lowest the EEOC has seen in 10 years, and reflects a nearly 8 percent drop in charges filed since the prior fiscal year in which 91,503 total charges were reported.
Not surprisingly – and consistent with the data available for the past seven fiscal years (FY2010 –FY2016) – retaliation appeared most frequently in the charges filed, found in almost half (48.8 percent) of those charges. The second leading cause of discrimination charges were race claims (also consistent with past years), found in 33.9 percent of all charges filed. Alleged violations based on disability and sex came next in terms of frequency (found in 31.9 percent and 30.4 percent of charges, respectively). Age discrimination showed up in 20.8 percent of all charges filed, while allegations of discrimination/violations based on national origin (9.8percent), religion (4.1 percent), color (3.8 percent), Equal Pay Act (1.2 percent) and genetic information/GINA (.2 percent) brought up the rear.
The EEOC further reported that it had “secured $398 million for victims in the private sector and state and local government workplaces through voluntary resolutions and litigation” in FY2017, roughly $84 million less than the amount reported in FY2016. Yet, the EEOC’s FY2017 litigation filings more than tripled those filed in FY2016, with the EEOC having filed “184 merits lawsuits” last year, compared to the 86 lawsuits filed by the EEOC in FY2016.