Diversity & Inclusion

Job-bias charges rose nine percent in 2007

Each year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) publishes information about the number and type of discrimination charges employees have filed along with the amount of money it has recovered on their behalf. In fiscal year (FY) 2007, 82,792 private-sector discrimination charges were filed with the agency, and it recovered $345 million in monetary relief for job-bias victims.

Race, retaliation, and sex charges were the most frequently filed. Additionally, nearly all major charge categories showed double-digit percentage increases from the prior year – “a rare occurrence,” according to the EEOC. For the first time, retaliation surpassed sex-based charges to become the second highest charge category. Race-based charges have lead the types of charges filed every year since the EEOC opened in 1965.

In addition to the increase in the number of charges, the EEOC reported an increase in the monetary relief it secured for employees. The agency reported nearly $345 million in total relief (26 % more than the previous year), of which $55 million came through litigation efforts and more than $290 million was recovered through administrative enforcement (including mediation). The agency also reported securing nonmonetary relief in the form of employer training, policy implementation, and reasonable accommodation.

Here is a snapshot of discrimination charge filings with the EEOC nationwide:

Charge FY 2007 FY 2006 Increase/Historical Comparison

Race 30,510 27,238 Up 12% to highest level since FY 1994

Retaliation 26,663 22,555 Up 18% to record high, double since FY 1992

Sex/Gender 24,826 23,247 Up 7% to highest level since FY 2002

Age 19,103 16,548 Up 15%, largest increase since FY 2002

Disability 17,734 15,575 Up 14% to highest level since FY 1998

National Origin 9,369 8,327 Up 12%, above 9,000 for second time ever

Religion 2,880 2,541 Up 13% to record high, double since FY 1992

Total 82,792 75,768 Up 9%, largest annual increase since FY 1993

You can find the full report at www.eeoc.gov/stats/charges.html.