Commission Obtains $365 Million for Victims of Workplace Discrimination; Reduces Charge Inventory by 10 Percent for Second Consecutive Year
WASHINGTON-The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that it received 99,412 private sector workplace discrimination charges during fiscal year 2012, down slightly from the previous year. The year-end data also show that retaliation (37,836), race (33,512) and sex discrimination (30,356), which includes allegations of sexual harassment and pregnancy were, respectively, the most frequently filed charges. The fiscal year runs Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. The fiscal year 2012 enforcement and litigation statistics, which include trend data, are available on the EEOC's website at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/enforcement/index.cfm.
Additionally, the EEOC achieved a second consecutive year of a significant reduction in the charge inventory, something not seen since fiscal year 2002. Due to a concerted effort, the EEOC reduced the pending inventory of private sector charges by 10 percent from fiscal year 2011, bringing the inventory level to 70,312. This inventory reduction is the second consecutive decrease of almost ten percent in charge inventory. Also this fiscal year, the agency obtained the largest amount of monetary recovery from private sector and state and local government employers through its administrative process - $365.4 million.
In fiscal year 2012, the EEOC filed 122 lawsuits including 86 individual suits, 26 multiple-victim suits (with fewer than 20 victims) and 10 systemic suits. The EEOC's legal staff resolved 254 lawsuits for a total monetary recovery of $44.2 million.
EEOC also continued its emphasis on eliminating systemic patterns of discrimination in the workplace. In fiscal year 2012, EEOC completed 240 systemic investigations which in part resulted in 46 settlements or conciliation agreements. These settlements, achieved without litigation, secured 36.2 million dollars for the victims of unlawful discrimination.
"These remarkable achievements are a credit to the commitment of the EEOC's staff and the product of strategic and efficient investment of critical budget resources in recent years, said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. We look forward to building on these accomplishments and further advancing the agency's mission as we implement our new Strategic Enforcement Plan in the coming year."
As part of its Open Government efforts to make the greatest amount of useful data available to the public, the EEOC introduced several new features in the fiscal year 2012 data tables. The Commission released new tables showing sex harassment, harassment generally, and pregnancy discrimination which contain only those charges filed with the EEOC. In the past, tables for these three categories, which are subsets of other bases, had listed all charges filed with both the EEOC and its state and local Fair Employment Practice Agency (FEPA) partners. Since no other charts include both FEPA and EEOC filings, these categories will now be harmonized with all the other data charts.
Additionally, in response to requests for this data, the Commission released a new table indicating the type of discriminatory action alleged by statute. In fiscal year 2012, discharge was the most frequently-cited discriminatory action under all statutes, followed by "terms and conditions" of employment and then discipline.
Overall, the agency secured both monetary and non-monetary benefits for more than 23,446 people through administrative enforcement activities - mediation, settlements, conciliations, and withdrawals with benefits. The number of charges resolved through successful conciliation, the last step in the EEOC administrative process prior to litigation, increased by 18 percent over 2011.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.