Retaliation Still Tops the List of Federal EEOC Complaints

Feb 6 2015 - Discrimination - HRWatchdog

This week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a detailed breakdown of the 88,778 charges of workplace discrimination the agency received in fiscal year 2014. Retaliation remains the number one charge received by the EEOC, and the percentage of charges alleging retaliation reached the highest amount ever: 42.8 percent of total charges received.

The overall number of charges filed with the EEOC decreased compared with recent years – down more than 9 percent from the 93,727 charges received in FY 2013 and the lowest number of charges received since FY 2007. The EEOC noted that it faced fiscal and operational challenges as a result of sequestration and government shutdown.

  • Retaliation is the number one EEOC charge with 37,955 charges (42.8 percent of all charges filed);
  • Race charges (including racial harassment) came in second, with 31,073 charges (35 percent);
  • Sex charges, including sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination, took third with 26,027 charges (29.3 percent); and
  • Discrimination based on disability was fourth with 25,369 charges (28.6 percent).

California’s 6,363 EEOC charges in FY 2014 represented 7.2 percent of the nationwide total. This percentage remains unchanged from last year. Only Texas (8,0358/9.7 percent) and Florida (7,528/8.1 percent) ranked higher in terms of percentage of nationwide claims. These figures are not surprising given the large populations of these states.

Retaliation is the number one EEOC charge filed in California by an overwhelming majority, constituting 48.5 percent of all EEOC charges filed in the state. Retaliation charges were followed by race (34.2 percent), disability (31.2 percent), sex (26.8 percent) and age (23.4 percent).  National origin charges represent 17.3 percent of all EEOC charges filed in California. Individuals often file charges claiming multiple types of discrimination.

Termination remains the most frequently cited discriminatory action allegedly taken by employers.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Its fiscal year runs Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

Gail Cecchettini Whaley, CalChamber Employment Law Counsel/Content

CalChamber members can learn more about what employee actions are protected. The HR Library’s Retaliation section has the answers. Not a member? Learn how HRCalifornia can help you.

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