EEOC Workplace Discrimination Charges Increased Slightly in FY2016

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

January 25, 2017

Individuals filed 91,503 charges of workplace discrimination with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in fiscal year 2016, the agency announced.

That represents an increase of 2% over fiscal 2015 but a decrease of 8% from the all-time high of 99,922 charges filed in fiscal 2010.

Charges most frequently included claims of retaliation (46%) and discrimination on the basis of race (35%), disability (31%), sex (29%) and age (28%). (The totals add up to more than 100% because charges can include multiple claims.)

The EEOC previously reported that it resolved 97,443 charges and recovered about $482 million for workers through mediation, conciliation, settlements and litigation during fiscal 2016. The EEOC also said it reduced its backload of pending charges by 4% to a three-year low of 73,508.

"EEOC advances opportunity for all of America's workers and plays a critical role in helping employers build stronger workplaces," said EEOC Chair Jenny Yang. "Despite the progress that has been made, we continue to see discrimination in both overt and subtle forms. The ongoing challenge of combating employ­ment discrimination is what makes EEOC's work as important as ever."

Going forward, the EEOC plans to focus its enforcement efforts for fiscal years 2017-2021 on issues such as eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring and protecting vulnerable workers, including immigrant and migrant workers, from discrimination.