EEOC: Another Record Year for Job Bias Claims

As we first reported last November, job bias charges reported to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) hit an all-time high of nearly 100,000 in fiscal year 2011 for the second year in a row.

This week the EEOC confirmed that it received a record 99,947 charges of employment discrimination in fiscal year 2011, up slightly from last year’s total, and monetary relief obtained for victims totaled $455.6 million, an increase of more than $51 million on the previous year.

Now for the details of the most frequently filed discrimination charges in FY 2011:

– Once again, charges alleging retaliation under all statutes enforced by the EEOC were the most frequently filed charge (37,334 charges received, or 37.4 percent of all charges), closely followed by race discrimination charges (35,395 charges or 35.4 percent).

– While the numbers of charges alleging race and sex discrimination declined from the previous year, charges alleging disability discrimination (25,742) and age discrimination (23,465) increased.

– Another takeaway: the number of charges alleging discrimination based on national origin rose by 5 percent, while the number of charges alleging discrimination based on religion were up 10 percent.

– And for the first full fiscal year of enforcement, the EEOC received 245 charges under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic information, including family medical history. So far, none of these charges has proceeded to litigation.

Ongoing difficult economic conditions are likely responsible for the rise in EEOC charges, according to reports.

Yet again the EEOC numbers underscore the importance of employment practices liability insurance for businesses. Check out I.I.I. facts and statistics on  EPL insurance.

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