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EEOC Releases Charge Statistics for Fiscal Year 2016

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the federal watch dog charged with enforcing anti-discrimination statutes, released statistics regarding the number and subject matter of charges filed in fiscal year 2016. The total received was 91,503 charges which is an increase of approximately 2,000 charges from 2015.

As in 2015, retaliation charges continue to be the most common claim the EEOC receives. The runner up was allegations of race discrimination.  The top ten categories are as follows:

  • Retaliation                  45.9%
  • Race                            35.3%
  • Disability                     30.7%
  • Sex                              29.4%
  • Age                              22.8%
  • National Origin          10.8%
  • Religion                      4%
  • Color                           3.4%
  • Equal Pay Act             1.2%
  • GINA                          .3%

(Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act)

The EEOC filed 114 merit lawsuits. Of these lawsuits, 46 involved alleged violations of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as amended.  Additionally, this is the first year that EEOC included detailed information about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (“LGBT”) charges in its year-end summary.  The EEOC resolved 1,650 charges and recovered $4.4 million for LGBT individuals who filed sex discrimination charges in fiscal 2016.

As we stated last year, the national trend continues: harassment and retaliation claims are the hottest allegations. In this vein, employers should make sure mechanisms are in place for employees to report not only discrimination, but also perceived harassment and relation claims. Employers should not just put such mechanisms in place, but they must be ready to take prompt remedial action to address any such complaints.  If you do, even if discrimination occurs, you may be able to avoid liability.  More importantly, you can show your employees they are important to the company and thus may be able to maintain positive employee relations even in challenging business times.

Brody and Associates regularly provides counsel on civil rights issues and employment laws in general. If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.454.0560.