After years of budget constraints left the thinly staffed agency struggling under a hefty workload, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has bounced back, causing headaches for many employers. During the 2010 fiscal year, which ended September 30, the EEOC received a record number of charges — nearly 100,000, the most in the agency’s 45-year history. Yet in a press release issued yesterday, the agency noted that its 2010 fiscal year had come to a close with only about 85,000 claims pending, a backlog less than one percent larger than that of the prior year.
In contrast, the EEOC had seen its backlog increase by 38 percent in just three years, then by another 16 percent in the 2008-2009 fiscal year. The agency, which had suffered from past budget constraints, received generous allocations this year and has put the funds to use hiring and training new staff.
This is sobering news for employers, as the additional staffing allowed the agency to secure a record $319 million in monetary benefits for individuals filing workplace discrimination charges, a number that is only likely to increase as even more claims are filed and adjudicated in the coming year.
More information on the agency’s record enforcement year may be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/2010par.cfm.
Learn more about workplace discrimination in Mastering HR: Discrimination