Workplace discrimination claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in fiscal 2014 fell to their lowest level in seven years. The dip that came as the economy improved, said The Wall Street Journal (2.4.15).
The EEOC last year received a total of 88,778 discrimination charges in nearly every category of discrimination the agency tracks, including race, sex, national origin, religion, color, retaliation, age, disability and equal pay, representing a 5.3% decrease from the total number of charges received in 2013, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing the agency’s most recent statistics report.
The number of claims in 2013 was 11.2% lower than the spike of nearly 100,000 that began in fiscal 2010 and held for three years with the numbers remaining fairly steady.
Previous increases were attributed to more employees asserting their rights, according to organized labor officials and others. Management-side lawyers said these claims tended to “fare better before juries in recent years, generating higher settlements than claims about underlying acts of discrimination,” reported The Wall Street Journal.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the EEOC said that the agency does not speculate about the economy’s role in the latest data. Business people and attorneys were the ones to link discontented workers to a weaker economy.
The EEOC fiscal year 2014 private sector data tables provide detailed breakdowns for the 88,778 charges of workplace discrimination the agency received.
The following are the top 10 categories of charges filed with the EEOC:
- Retaliation under all statutes: 37,955 (42.8 percent of all charges filed)
- Race (including racial harassment): 31,073 (35 percent)
- Sex (including pregnancy and sexual harassment): 26,027 (29.3 percent)
- Disability: 25,369 (28.6 percent)
- Age: 20,588 (23.2 percent)
- National Origin: 9,579 (10.8 percent)
- Religion: 3,549 (4.0 percent)
- Color: 2,756 (3.1 percent)
- Equal Pay Act: 938 (1.1 percent) but note that sex-based wage discrimination can also be charged under Title VII’s sex discrimination provision
- Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act: 333 (0.4 percent)
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), in contrast to the declining number charges of employment discrimination against employers, claims alleging retaliation against an employee for involvement in a complaint reached its highest amount ever at 42.8 percent.
Workplace harassment claims also continue to be filed. The agency said 30% of claims alleged harassment for various reasons, such as on the basis of race or disability.
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, a law that prohibits companies from asking about family medical history or genetic testing, is somewhat new with the EEOC recording such claims beginning in fiscal 2010.
The government’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.
The Wall Street Journal article cited is “Discrimination Claims Fall to Lowest Level in 7 Years, EEOC Says.”
The Business Journal article cited is “Top 10 Employment Discrimination Claims.”