Workplace Discrimination Charges Soar in 2008

March 13, 2009
The record-setting 95,000 filings is a 15% increase over the previous year, EEOC data show.

Whether it was the economy, greater awareness of employment discrimination laws or some other factor, a record number of workplace discrimination charges were filed with U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in fiscal year 2008, the federal agency reported. For the year ended Sept. 30, 2008, some 95,402 workplace discrimination charges were filed, representing a 15% increase over the prior fiscal year.

"The EEOC has not seen an increase of this magnitude in charges filed for many years," said EEOC acting chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. "While we do not know if it signifies a trend, it is clear that employment discrimination remains a persistent problem."

Race-, retaliation- and sex-related allegations were the most frequently filed charges, while charges related to age and retaliation had the largest annual increases, data indicate. Just 1% of the filings related to equal pay.

In addition, the EEOC filed 290 lawsuits, resolved 339 lawsuits and resolved 81,081 private sector charges, the agency said.

Additional data is available at the EEOC Website.

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