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EEOC Releases 2017 Enforcement and Litigation Data

by Martin Salcedo, Esq. - The Human Equation on 2/20/2018
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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing various federal equal employment opportunity laws. The EEOC annually releases fiscal year enforcement and litigation data to keep the public apprised of its efforts and results. The most recent release shows that the EEOC received 84,254 individual charges of workplace discrimination in FY 2017.

The good news is that this is lower than the number of charges filed in fiscal years 2016 (91,503), 2015 (89,385) and 2014 (88,778). The bad news is that 69,583 charges were closed because there was no reasonable cause to believe that discrimination occurred based upon evidence obtained in investigation.

In other words, 70 PERCENT of employers involved in a charge had to endure an EEOC investigation despite the lack of reasonable cause to support a claim of discrimination. Since even baseless EEOC investigations can be expensive, employers should consider employment practices liability insurance to help cover the costs.

The EEOC also obtained $355.6 million in total monetary relief through its pre-litigation enforcement program in FY 2017, which is similar to amounts obtained in 2016 ($348 million) and 2015 ($356.6 million). Enforcement suits filed by the EEOC produced $42.4 million in monetary benefits in FY 2017.

Here is a breakdown of the charges filed in FY 2017.

  • Retaliation: 41,097 (48.8% of all charges filed)
  • Race: 28,528 (33.9%)
  • Disability: 26,838 (31.9%)
  • Sex: 25,605 (30.4%)
  • Age: 18,376 (21.8%)
  • National Origin: 8,299 (9.8%)
  • Religion: 3,436 (4.1%)
  • Color: 3,240 (3.8%)

The Top (Worst?) Five states in FY 2017 were:

  • Texas (8,827)
  • Florida (6,858)
  • California (5,423)
  • Georgia (4,894)
  • Pennsylvania (4,516)

Employers can avoid the EEOC’s enforcement efforts by creating and enforcing a policy against discrimination and harassment. Employees must also be trained to prevent, detect and address any unlawful behavior. Training should cover all relevant topics, such as employment liabilities, sexual harassment for managers and employees, discrimination and harassment prevention and disability discrimination.

Contact us to learn more about controlling employment-related liabilities or check out The Human Equation’s library of online courses. To receive regular updates about developments which may affect your business, subscribe to The Human Equation's news briefs.

The Human Equation prepares all risk management and insurance content with the professional guidance of Setnor Byer Insurance and Risk.

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5/1/2018 9:53:00 AM #

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