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EEOC Reaps Record $385 Million From Management

According to preliminary data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), financial awards obtained by the EEOC’s attorneys reached a record $385 million for fiscal year 2003. Of the $385 million, $236 million was obtained at the administrative level, while a record $149 million was obtained through litigation. Although the 81,300 total discrimination charges filed over fiscal year 2003 is down from the 84,400 filed in fiscal 2002, litigation activity rose last year. EEOC attorneys filed 361 direct suits and interventions in fiscal 2003, compared with 332 in fiscal 2002. Class action suits are also on the rise. Of the suits filed last year, 124 were filed on behalf of a class or on behalf of similarly situated persons, up from 109 class action suits in fiscal 2002.

The most commonly asserted types of discrimination are race (35 percent of all filings), sex discrimination (30.3 percent), age discrimination (23.6 percent), disability discrimination (19 percent), and national origin discrimination (10.4 percent).

As EEOC awards rise, the most effective measures employers can take to protect themselves is to continually review and update employee handbooks to include anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies, and to conduct employee and supervisory training on harassment and discrimination issues.

Brody and Associates regularly advises its clients on matters such as this. Should you have any questions, please call us. We can be reached at 203.965.0560 or info@brodyandassociates.com.