The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the government agency responsible for enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

The EEOC reports that it received an all-time high of 99,947 charges of employment discrimination in its Fiscal Year 2011.  During the same time period, the EEOC reports that it obtained $455.6 million in relief for alleged violations of federal employment laws.

The most frequently cited allegations in the charges of discrimination received by the EEOC in 2011 are as follows:

  • Retaliation:  37,334 charges.
  • Race Discrimination:  35,395 charges.
  • Disability Discrimination:  25,742 charges.
  • Age Discrimination:  23,465 charges.

The most frequently alleged forms of disability discrimination alleged during 2011 related to back impairments, other orthopedic impairments, depression, anxiety disorder, and diabetes.

Takeaways:  The EEOC’s statistics show that employment discrimination and retaliation claims remain a significant and potentially costly risk for employers.  Retaliation, race, disability, and age claims are the most prevalent types of employment claims at the national level.  Employers should ensure that they have the proper policies and training in place to reduce the risk of these types of claims.