EEOC collected more than $525M from discrimination charges in 2015

Retaliation, disability charges have increased, agency says

Posted February 22, 2016

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), on February 17, released detailed breakdowns of the 89,385 charges of workplace discrimination that the agency received in fiscal year 2015. Retaliation charges increased by nearly 5 percent, and retaliation continues to be the leading concern raised by workers across the country. Disability charges increased by 6 percent from last year, and it is the third largest category of charges filed.

EEOC resolved 92,641 charges in fiscal year 2015, and claimed more than $525 million due to discrimination in private sector and state and local government workplaces through voluntary resolutions and litigation.

The year-end data shows that retaliation again was the most frequently filed charge of discrimination, with 39,757 charges, making up 45 percent of all private sector charges filed with EEOC. The agency is currently seeking public input on its proposed update of enforcement guidance addressing retaliation and related issues. The document is intended to inform the public about the Commission's interpretation of the law and promote voluntary compliance.

The numbers show the following breakdown by allegation:

  • Retaliation: 39,757 (44.5 percent of all charges filed)
  • Race: 31,027 (34.7 percent)
  • Disability: 26,968 (30.2 percent)
  • Sex: 26,396 (29.5 percent)
  • Age: 20,144 (22.5 percent)
  • National Origin: 9,438 (10.6 percent)
  • Religion: 3,502 (3.9 percent)
  • Color: 2,833 (3.2 percent)
  • Equal Pay Act: 973 (1.1 percent)
  • Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act: 257 (0.3 percent)

These percentages add up to more than 100 because some charges allege multiple violations.

Harassment allegations made up nearly 28,000 charges, or 31 percent. Employees claimed harassment in charges based on race, age, disability, religion, national origin, and sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity.

The agency filed 142 merits lawsuits last year, up from 133 the previous year. The majority of the lawsuits filed alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, followed by suits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This included 100 individual lawsuits and 42 lawsuits involving multiple victims of discriminatory policies, of which 16 were systemic. Legal staff resolved 155 lawsuits alleging discrimination.

The fiscal year ran from October 1, 2014, to September 30, 2015.


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