The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released detailed breakdowns for the 88,778 charges of workplace discrimination the agency received in fiscal year (FY) 2014. [Note: The fiscal year ran from Oct. 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2014.] According to the EEOC, the number of charges filed decreased compared with recent fiscal years.
Among the charges the EEOC received, the percentage of charges alleging retaliation reached its highest amount ever - 42.8 percent. The percentage of charges alleging race discrimination, the second most common allegation, has remained steady at approximately 35 percent. In fiscal year 2014, the EEOC obtained $296.1 million in total monetary relief through its enforcement program prior to the filing of litigation.
The charge numbers show the following breakdowns by bases alleged in descending order.
- 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)
[Note: These percentages add up to more than 100 because some charges allege multiple bases, such as discrimination on the bases of race and color, or sex and retaliation.]
The FY 2014 statistics show that 30 percent of the charges filed alleged the issue of harassment on various bases. The agency has made preventing harassment through systemic enforcement and targeted outreach a priority. Just last month, on January 14, the Commission held a meeting on workplace harassment. The numbers for FY 2014 also reveal that discharge continues to be the most common issue for all bases under Title VII, the ADEA, and the ADA.
For more detailed EEOC charge information, go to http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/enforcement/index.cfm.