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EEOC charges fall for fourth straight year

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

The EEOC received 88,778 charges in fiscal year 2014, marking the fourth straight year of declines after a record-setting 99,922 charges were filed in FY2010. The 2014 total is a 5.3% decrease compared to 2013, and an 11.1% drop since 2010.

The EEOC’s enforcement program obtained $296.1 million in monetary relief in FY2014, down sharply from $371.2 million in FY2013.

The number of charges declined for all major types of discrimination.

For the first time since 2006, the number of retaliation claims fell as well; the 37,955 retaliation charges were 584 less than in 2013.

However, retaliation charges were included in a higher percentage of EEOC complaints than ever before. Retaliation was alleged in 42.8% of the cases the EEOC processed last year, up from 41.1% in FY2013 and 29.5% in FY2006.

Employees often add a retaliation claim when they allege some form of adverse employment action occurred after they complained about discrimination or harassment. Alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act—the nation’s primary anti-bias law—were associated with more than 80% of retaliation charges.

Besides retaliation, the most frequent charges alleged discrimination based on race (30,073), sex (26,027), disability (25,369) and age (20,588).

An EEOC statement attributed the decline in charges to the 16-day government shut-down that occurred in October 2013, at the beginning of the fiscal year. The statement noted, “First quarter charge filings—which included the period of the shutdown—were 3,000 to 5,000 less than the other quarters.”

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