• High Unemployment Leads to Record-Breaking Claims of Discrimination
  • April 11, 2011 | Author: Tashwanda C. Pinchback
  • Law Firm: Troutman Sanders LLP - Atlanta Office
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has reported a record number of workplace discrimination claims filed in 2010. According to the EEOC, employees filed 99,922 discrimination claims against private employers and state and local governments in the 2010 fiscal year ending September 30, which represents a 7% increase compared to the 93,277 claims filed in 2009. The EEOC has also announced that, for the first time since it opened in 1965, retaliation claims surpassed race discrimination claims as the most frequently filed allegation. The EEOC reported other claims of discrimination in 2010:

    • Sex discrimination allegations, which made up 29.1% of total claims filed, climbed 3.5 percent to 29,029 claims filed.

    • Disability discrimination allegations claims, which made up 25% of all allegations filed, climbed 17.3 percent to 25,165 claims filed.

    • Age discrimination allegations remained relatively unchanged with 23,264 reported claims.

    • Discrimination claims based on national origin also remained unchanged with 11,304 reported claims.

    • Religious discrimination claims continued to represent one of the lowest amount of claims filed with 3,790 reported claims.

    Despite the rising number of discrimination claims, the EEOC’s litigation actions are down 13.7 percent compared to 2009, showing a steady decline since fiscal year 2004. In 2010, the EEOC filed 271 lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Equal Pay Act of 1963. In 2010, the EEOC also resolved 285 lawsuits and 104,999 private sector claims, which included 9,777 settlements. The EEOC has placed more emphasis on its mediation programs, which resulted in a record-breaking 9,370 resolutions in 2010, an increase of 10% over the previous year, and $142 million in monetary benefits. In 2010, the enforcement, mediation and litigation efforts collectively brought in more than $404 million from employers, which according to the EEOC, was the highest level of monetary relief it has obtained through the administrative process.