Skip top navigation Skip to content

Print   Email  Share

PRESS RELEASE
3-11-09

EEOC REPORTS JOB BIAS CHARGES HIT RECORD HIGH OF OVER 95,000 IN FISCAL YEAR 2008

Commission Obtains $376 Million for Victims of Discrimination

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that workplace discrimination charge filings with the federal agency nationwide soared to an unprecedented level of 95,402 during Fiscal Year (FY) 2008, which ended Sept. 30. This level is a 15 percent increase from the previous fiscal year. The FY 2008 enforcement and litigation statistics, which include trend data, are available online at http://www.eeoc.gov/stats/enforcement.html.

“The EEOC has not seen an increase of this magnitude in charges filed for many years. While we do not know if it signifies a trend, it is clear that employment discrimination remains a persistent problem,” said the Commission’s Acting Chairman, Stuart J. Ishimaru. “The EEOC is committed to vigorously enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination and will continue to invest in programs such as its systemic litigation program to maximize its effectiveness.”

According to the FY 2008 data, all major categories of charge filings in the private sector (which includes charges filed against state and local governments) increased. Charges based on age and retaliation saw the largest annual increases, while allegations based on race, sex and retaliation continued as the most frequently filed charges. The surge in charge filings may be due to multiple factors, including economic conditions, increased diversity and demographic shifts in the labor force, employees’ greater awareness of the law, EEOC’s focus on systemic litigation, and changes to EEOC’s intake practices.

The FY 2008 data also show that the EEOC filed 290 lawsuits, resolved 339 lawsuits, and resolved 81,081 private sector charges. Through its combined enforcement, mediation and litigation programs, the EEOC recovered approximately $376 million in monetary relief for thousands of discrimination victims and obtained significant remedial relief from employers to promote inclusive and discrimination-free workplaces.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site (www.eeoc.gov).