Retaliation charges increased by nearly five percent in 2015 and continue to be the leading concern raised by workers across the country. Disability charges increased by six percent from last year and are the third largest category of charges filed.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released breakdowns of the 89,385 charges of workplace discrimination that the agency received in fiscal year 2015.
EEOC said it resolved 92,641 charges in fiscal year 2015, and secured more than $525 million for victims of 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 fiscal year ran from Oct. 1, 2014, to Sept. 30, 2015. The agency is currently seeking public input on its proposed update of enforcement guidance addressing retaliation and related issues as part of its commitment to inform the public about the EEOC’s interpretation of the law and promote voluntary compliance.
Top 10 Charges
The charge numbers show the following breakdowns by bases alleged:
· Retaliation: 39,757 (44.5% of all charges filed)
· Race: 31,027 (34.7%)
· Disability: 26,968 (30.2%)
· Sex: 26,396 (29.5%)
· Age: 20,144 (22.5%)
· National Origin: 9,438 (10.6%)
· Religion: 3,502 (3.9%)
· Color: 2,833 (3.2%)
· Equal Pay Act: 973 (1.1%)
· Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act: 257 (0.3%)
The percentages add up to more than 100 because some charges allege multiple bases.
Charges raising 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. EEOC lawyers resolved 155 lawsuits alleging discrimination.