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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today released enforcement and litigation statistics for Fiscal Year 2003, covering October 2002 through September 2003. The new data which include charge filings, lawsuits, resolutions, and monetary benefits are available on the agency's web site at

The data show that 81,293 private sector employment discrimination charges were filed with agency field offices nationwide last fiscal year and 87,755 were resolved for $236 million in monetary benefits and other relief. EEOC filed 361 new lawsuits and resolved 378 suits resulting in $149 million in monetary benefits as well as significant injunctive and remedial relief.

"Discrimination continues to be a problem in too many of today's workplaces," said EEOC Chair Cari M. Dominguez, reflecting on the FY 2003 data. "As we approach the 40th anniversary of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 this July, it is evident that much progress has been made over the past four decades. Nevertheless, there is still much to do before we fulfill the EEOC's mission and mandate to eradicate unlawful discrimination from our nation's workplaces and ensure the freedom to compete for all individuals."

Race-based charges were the most frequently alleged type of discrimination, followed by sex/gender, retaliation, age, disability, national origin, religion, and equal pay. Approximately 20% of charges filed with EEOC offices resulted in a "merit resolution" with a favorable outcome for the charging party; 63% were deemed to have "no reasonable cause" (no merit); and 17% of charges resulted in "administrative closures" (such as failure to locate the charging party, no statutory jurisdiction, and other administrative reasons).

The 81,293 total private sector charge filings in FY 2003 break down as follows:

RACE 28,526 35.1% of total charges
SEX/GENDER 24,362 30% of total charges
RETALIATION 22,690 27.9% of total charges
AGE 19,124 23.5% of total charges
DISABILITY 15,377 18.9% of total charges
NATIONAL ORIGIN 8,450 10.4% of total charges
RELIGION 2,532 3.1% of total charges
EQUAL PAY 1,167 1.4% of total charges

NOTE: Individuals may allege multiple types of discrimination in one charge filing, thus the percentage of total charges will add up to more than 100%.

Additionally, there were 13,566 sexual harassment charge filings and 4,649 pregnancy discrimination charge filings with EEOC offices as well as state and local Fair Employment Practices Agencies in FY 2003.

EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment or pregnancy) or national origin and protects employees who complain about such offenses from retaliation; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which protects workers age 40 and older from discrimination based on age; the Equal Pay Act of 1963; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the federal sector; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Further information about the Commission is available on the agency's web site at

This page was last modified on March 8, 2004.