HR Management & Compliance, Recruiting

EEOC Discrimination Disputes Cost Employers More than $400 Million in 2012

Employers paid more than $400 million to resolve discrimination cases filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in fiscal 2012, according to data released by the agency Jan. 28. Among private-sector workers, retaliation, race and sex discrimination, respectively, were the most common discrimination charges.

Other highlights from the EEOC’s fiscal 2012 statistical summary:

  • 99,412 — the number of charges filed by private-sector employees in 2012, a slight decrease from 2011.
  • 37,836 — the number of retaliation cases filed, the most frequently filed charge. Race discrimination (33,512) and sex discrimination, including allegations of sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination (30,356) were next.
  • 23,446 — the number of people for whom the agency secured both monetary and non-monetary benefits through administrative enforcement activities including mediation, settlements, conciliations  and withdrawals with benefits. (The number of charges resolved through successful conciliation, the last step in the EEOC administrative process before litigation, increased by 18 percent over 2011.)
  • $36.2 million — the amount employers collectively paid in fiscal 2012 to settle discrimination suits with the EEOC.
  • $365.4 million — the amount the EEOC recovered from employers through its administrative process.
  • 122 — the number of lawsuits filed by the EEOC, including 86 individual suits, 26 multiple-victim suits (with fewer than 20 victims) and 10 systemic suits.
  • $44.2 million — the amount recovered in 254 lawsuits resolved by the agency’s legal staff.

EEOC also reported that it continued its emphasis systemic patterns of workplace discrimination, completing 240 systemic investigations that in part resulted in 46 settlements or conciliation agreements. In addition, it filed 12 systemic lawsuits.

The EEOC introduced several new features in its statistical report. Now, separate data tables indicate the impairments/bases for ADA charges broken down by charges received, resolutions  and merit factor resolutions. Previously, the breakdown was only available for merit factor resolutions.

The fiscal year runs Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. The fiscal year 2012 enforcement and litigation statistics, which include trend data, are available on the EEOC’s website.


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