EEOC: Discrimination Charges Rise, Led By Increasing Religious Bias

Compiled By Jill Jusko Allegations of employment discrimination continued to beset the private sector in 2002, show recent statistics released by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Washington, D.C. Charge filings alleging employment discrimination increased by 4.5% to 84,442 in fiscal year 2002, the federal enforcement agency said. (Individuals may allege multiple types of discrimination in one charge filing.) While allegations of race discrimination led the employment discrimination filings with nearly 30,000, an increase of 3.5% over the previous year, allegations of religious discrimination, age discrimination and national origin discrimination showed the biggest increases. Nearly 2,600 filings alleging religious discrimination were filed, up 21% over the previous fiscal year. Age discrimination filings approached 20,000, an increase of 14.5%, and allegations of discrimination based on national origin increased to about 9,000, a rise of 13%. The only category that showed a drop in filings was disability discrimination, which slid 3%. The EEOC said it resolved 95,222 private-sector employment discrimination charges in 2002. One of every five charge filed resulted in a "merit resolution" with a favorable outcome for the charging parting, the agency said.

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