EEOC 2016 Performance Report Announces $482.1 Million in Recoveries

Author: Marta Moakley, XpertHR Legal Editor

November 28, 2016

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its annual Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) for Fiscal Year 2016. The agency secured more than $482.1 million in the private and public sectors through mediation, conciliation, settlements and litigation during FY 2016, which ended September 30.

"For over 50 years, EEOC has worked to fulfill our nation's shared vision of equality and justice for all," Chair Jenny Yang stated in a press release. "To achieve this vision, the agency has undertaken a comprehensive effort to strategically deploy its resources to matters where government focus is most needed."

The total amount of recovery includes:

  • $347.9 million in private sector settlements;
  • $52.2 million through agency litigation; and
  • $82 million for federal employees and applicants.

The EEOC has communicated its focused efforts through its Strategic Plan, in which the agency named as national priorities eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, protecting vulnerable workers (including immigrant workers) from discrimination, and preventing systemic harassment, among other priorities.

Systemic investigations, which address patterns or practices of discrimination that have a broad impact on a region, industry or a group of individuals, resulted in settlements of more than $20.3 million in remedies in FY 2016 (compared to $33.5 million in FY 2015 and $13 million in 2014). The EEOC also resolved 21 systemic cases in litigation. The continued focus on systemic investigations is relevant to employers because these types of investigations result in a higher likelihood of reasonable cause findings, potentially spurring the case onto litigation instead of dismissal.

In addition, the EEOC resolved 97,443 charges, which is an increase of 6.5% over last year. This resulted in a reduction of charge workload of 3.8% over FY 2015, which shows an increased resolution of individual workplace disputes by the agency.

The EEOC will release comprehensive enforcement and litigation statistics for FY 2016 in the coming weeks.