Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released an exhaustive report on its Fiscal Year 2016 Enforcement and Litigation Data. The full report from the EEOC website is availablehere.
2016 saw a slight rise in the total number of charges filed (91,503) over 2015 (89,385) and 2014 (88,778). This increase may indicate a trend toward increased filings; 2010-2012 numbers exceeded 99,000 each year.
Retaliation charges filed with the EEOC peaked at 42,018 in 2016, representing 45.9% of all charges filed; this number has nearly doubled from 2006, with only 22,555 charges filed. This rise reflects the employer risk for properly addressing and monitoring employee complaints.
Since the EEOC began tracking LGBT data in 2013, statistics reflect a consistent increase; the last 3 quarters of 2013 brought 808 total charges whereas 2016 had 1,768. The EEOC also reports monetary recovery for employees filing charges reached $4.4 million in 2016.
At the same time, the Litigation Statistics that 2016 lawsuits were down to 114, which includes 86 merit lawsuits. While the number of EEOC suits filed has lessened in the past decade (403 in 2006), the EEOC did resolve 139 lawsuits in 2016. Currently, 28.6% of the EEOC’s active case docket involves systematic discrimination allegations and 19% are multi-victim cases – which is consistent with the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan.
These statistics illustrate why employers need to take active steps to reinforce compliance measures at their organization, ensuring staff at all levels are equipped with tools to facilitate protections.
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