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EEOC Releases Charge Statistics for Fiscal Year 2017

The EEOC has released its charge statistics for fiscal 2017!  In total, approximately 85,000 charges were filed across the country. Of those, 6,696 alleged sexual harassment.  This is interesting in light of the #MeToo movement that began with the Harvey Weinstein scandal in the last part of 2017.  It will be interesting to see if there will be a rise in sex-based claims in fiscal year 2018 as a result of the unprecedented movement. 

Retaliation claims continue to be the most filed charge.  In fiscal 2017, the EEOC received 41,097 claims of retaliation.  This accounts for 48.8% of all charges filed.  These claims are commonly filed in conjunction with some other claim of discrimination.  For instance, oftentimes an employee will assert claims of race discrimination and then retaliation for the poor treatment the employee received after complaining to management of perceived race discrimination. 

Race claims came in second with approximately 28,528 charges filed which accounts for approximately 33.9% of the charges filed.  Disability claims were third, with approximately 26,838 charges or 31.9% of all charges filed.  Sex claims were the fourth most common charge, accounting for 25,605 charges or approximately 30.4% of all charges filed.  Note, however, since individuals often file charges claiming multiple types of discrimination, the number of charges per each type of discrimination charge when added together will exceed the total number of discrimination charges received.

Beyond handing administrative charges, the EEOC also initiates discrimination-based court room litigation.  In previous years, the EEOC has primarily focused on lawsuits involving multiple victims.  However, in fiscal year 2017, the EEOC filed 124 individual suits and only 30 suits that involved multiple victims.  Since 2018 began, the EEOC has issued multiple press releases announcing litigation and settlements on behalf of individual victims.  Therefore, last year’s focus on individual employee claims is continuing into 2018.

As these statistics show, employees continue to routinely file discrimination claims.  Although the current Administration is employer friendly, it will be interesting to see if its influence is enough to counter the #MeToo movement and heighted social awareness regarding these types of claims.

Brody and Associates regularly provides training and counseling on maintaining a harassment free environment and on employment law issues in general. If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.454.0560.