EEOC Reports Receiving Record Number of Workplace Discrimination Charges in FY 2011
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="154" caption="Image via Wikipedia"][/caption]
Last week the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the agency responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination - released its annual Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) for fiscal year 2011. Among the news listed in the report: an all-time high in the number of discrimination charges reported to the EEOC, as well as record highs in the number of charges resolved, and in monetary award amounts obtained through administrative enforcement.
In fiscal year 2011, the EEOC received a record 99,947 charges of workplace discrimination, up from 99,222 in fiscal year 2010, amounting to the largest number of charges in the EEOC’s four decade history. Additionally, the EEOC worked to obtain $364.6 million in monetary awards through administrative enforcement on behalf of victims of workplace discrimination, the highest figure the in the EEOC’s history.
Additionally, the EEOC achieved another new high by obtaining more than $170 million in monetary benefits for complainants through the agency’s private sector national mediation program. This program had its highest-ever number of resolutions in fiscal year 2011 – 9,831 total – which represents a 5% increase over the number of resolutions obtained in the previous year.
Another record-breaking figure detailed in the report is the decrease in the EEOC’s inventory of pending charges. Specifically, the fiscal year ended with 78,136 charges pending, a 10% decrease from the previous year’s backlog and was the first reduction in the pending charges inventory since 2002. The EEOC’s pending inventory had increased following a 30% decline in agency staffing between fiscal years 2008 and 2010.
EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien commented that the EEOC has been able “to make significant progress towards effective enforcement of the nation’s civil rights laws” by “strategically [managing] existing resources and [taking] full advantage of increased resources in the past two fiscal years.”
The 2011 report is available electronically on the EEOC’s website and details further statistics regarding the agency’s systematic enforcement program and public outreach and education efforts.