On January 6, 2010, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) published its Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 workplace discrimination report. According to the EEOC’s report, a total of 93,277 charges were filed nationwide during the period October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009, resulting in $376 million of monetary relief being obtained for discrimination victims. The chart below compares the claim percentages for FY 2008 and FY 2009 and shows that most frequently filed charges continue to be those alleging discrimination based on race (36%), retaliation (36%), and sex (30%).

These statistics are consistent with the Firm’s own experience. During the same period, the Firm investigated charges and represented numerous clients before the Chicago Human Rights Commission, the Illinois Human Rights Commission and the EEOC. Interestingly, regardless of the type of discrimination being alleged by the current or former employee, the importance of job descriptions, written performance evaluations and the company’s adherence to non-discriminatory leave and personnel policies that were detailed in a current employee handbook were invaluable evidentiary support in defense of the company’s actions. Less helpful, and often harmful, were the “informal” and “chain” e-mails between clients and the charging employee or between members of management.

Risk management is one goal of every human resource professional. To assist, the Firm reviews and revises employee handbooks and policies. The Firm also presents several seminars on harassment prevention, union avoidance, hiring and termination, e-mail communications, electronic discovery and employee theft. Please consult your Masuda Funai relationship attorney for more information.