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PRESS RELEASE
1-25-18

EEOC Releases Fiscal Year 2017 Enforcement And Litigation Data

Agency Reduces Charge Workload to Lowest Level in 10 Years; Obtains Nearly $400 Million for Discrimination Victims

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that 84,254 workplace discrimination charges were filed with the federal agency nationwide during fiscal year (FY) 2017, and secured $398 million for victims in the private sector and state and local government workplaces through voluntary resolutions and litigation. The comprehensive enforcement and litigation statistics for FY 2017, which ended Sept. 30, 2017, are posted on the agency's website.

The EEOC resolved 99,109 charges in FY 2017 and reduced the charge workload by 16.2 percent to 61,621, the lowest level of inventory in 10 years. The agency achieved this by deploying new strategies to more efficiently prioritize charges with merit, more quickly resolve investigations, and improve the agency's digital systems. The agency handled over 540,000 calls to its toll-free number and more than 155,000 inquiries in field offices, reflecting the significant public demand for the EEOC's services.

"Over the past year, the EEOC has remained steadfast in its commitment to its core values and mission: to vigorously enforce our nation's civil rights laws," said EEOC Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic. "The results for the last fiscal year demonstrate exactly that."

The FY 2017 data show that retaliation was the most frequently filed charge filed with the agency, followed by race and disability. The agency also received 6,696 sexual harassment charges and obtained $46.3 million in monetary benefits for victims of sexual harassment. Specifically, the charge numbers show the following breakdowns by bases alleged, in descending order:

  • Retaliation: 41,097 (48.8 percent of all charges filed)
  • Race: 28,528 (33.9 percent)
  • Disability: 26,838 (31.9 percent)
  • Sex: 25,605 (30.4 percent)
  • Age: 18,376 (21.8 percent)
  • National Origin: 8,299 (9.8 percent)
  • Religion: 3,436 (4.1 percent)
  • Color: 3,240 (3.8 percent)
  • Equal Pay Act: 996 (1.2 percent)
  • Genetic Information: 206 (.2 percent)

These percentages add up to more than 100 because some charges allege multiple bases.

EEOC legal staff filed 184 merits lawsuits alleging discrimination in fiscal year 2017. The lawsuits filed by the EEOC included 124 individual suits and 30 suits involving multiple victims or discriminatory policies and 30 systemic discrimination cases. At the end of the fiscal year, the EEOC had 242 cases on its active docket. The EEOC achieved a successful outcome in 90.8 percent of all suit resolutions.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.