If you thought the 2008 spike in employee job discrimination complaints was a one-time blip, think again.
During fiscal year 2009, U.S. employees filed 93,277 workplace discrimination charges with the EEOC.
That’s the second-highest level ever, just below the FY 2008 record number of 95,402 charges. In the previous 10 years, the agency averaged about 79,000 charges filed per year.
“Equal employment opportunity remains elusive for far too many workers,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “Employers must step up their efforts to foster discrimination-free and inclusive workplaces, or risk enforcement and litigation by the EEOC.”
For the first time, race discrimination did not top the list of claims (see box below). It ran a close second to claims of retaliation, in which employees claim they were fired, demoted or harassed because they filed a charge of discrimination or complained to their employer about discrimination. Employees often tack on claims of retaliation to their other claims of age, race or sex bias.
Another key trend: Charges of ADA disability discrimination jumped by 10% since 2008, the largest increase of any category. The increase coincides with changes to the ADA last year that made it easier for people to be protected as “disabled” under the law.
Online resource: To access our free report, How to Respond to an EEOC Complaint: 10 Steps to Success, go to www.theHRSpecialist.com/whitepaper.