If ever there was a time for a business to buy employment practices liability (EPL) insurance it’s now, according to latest data on workplace discrimination claims released by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The findings show that 93,277 workplace discrimination charges were filed with the EEOC during fiscal year 2009 – the second highest level ever – and monetary relief obtained for victims totaled over $376 million. As in previous years, race and retaliation were the most frequently cited types of employment discrimination in 2009, each accounting for more than one-third (36 percent) of charges filed with the EEOC, while sex-based discrimination charges were the third most frequently filed (30 percent). Bear in mind that multiple types of discrimination may be alleged in a single charge filing. A closer look at the numbers reveals some key takeaways. For example, the number of charges alleging discrimination based on disability rose by 10 percent to 21,451 – the highest level ever. At 22,778, the number of charges alleging age-based discrimination also reached the second-highest level ever. Charges of discrimination based on national origin also rose by 5 percent to 11,134. A range of factors, including economic conditions, increased diversity and demographic shifts in the labor force and employees’ greater awareness of their rights under the law, contributed to the near-historic level of total discrimination charge filings, the EEOC said. Check out I.I.I. information on EPL insurance.