The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for administering several federal laws regarding discrimination complaints in the workplace. The EEOC tries to mediate as many cases as possible, as roughly 70% of mediated cases settle. I mediate cases in the Philadelphia area office, for both private sector complaints as well as federal sector complaints (involving federal employees).
The EEOC has published its fiscal year 2019 statistics. Complaints have dropped again, down to 72,675. The peak was in FY10-12, with around 100,000 complaints filed each year. The FY19 total complaints bring the level down to 1992 levels.
Here is the breakdown in the numbers:
- Retaliation: 39,110 (53.8 percent of all charges filed)
- Disability: 24,238 (33.4 percent)
- Race: 23,976 (33.0 percent)
- Sex: 23,532 (32.4 percent)
- Age: 15,573 (21.4 percent)
- National Origin: 7,009 (9.6 percent)
- Color: 3,415 (4.7 percent)
- Religion: 2,725 (3.7 percent)
- Equal Pay Act: 1,117 (1.5 percent)
- Genetic Information: 209 (0.3 percent)
The percentages add up to greater than 100% because many complaints contain multiple bases for the complaints.
Harassment charges filed with the EEOC amounted to 26,221 of the complaints, with 12,739 of those being for sexual harassment. Despite the #MeToo movement, the sexual harassment complaint level has been relatively flat for a decade.
There were 1,868 allegations of LGBT discrimination. As I’ve written about previously, this is a gray area of EEOC jurisdiction. The US Supreme Court is weighing this question during this year.