Although you frequently see news reports about individual cases of sexual harassment and other forms of employment discrimination, it is often difficult for the average person to grasp the extent of the problem at a statewide or national level. One set of metrics comes from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is the federal agency charged with enforcing civil rights laws in the workplace.
Retaliation, Sex Discrimination Most Common Complaints Filed
On April 10, 2019, the EEOC released a detailed breakdown of the “charges,” or allegations of illegal employment discrimination it received during the agency's 2018 fiscal year, which ran from October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018. Keep in mind, EEOC charges only reflect allegations filed with the agency. It does not include lawsuits filed directly by individual employees in court or charges brought before state or city human rights agencies.
With those caveats, what can we learn from just the EEOC's figures? Here is a brief rundown:
- The EEOC received approximately 519,000 calls to its toll-free hotline (1-800-669-4000), which allows individuals to directly file a charge.
- The EEOC received a further 34,6000 complaints by email and roughly 200,000 more through one of its field offices, including its New York District Office.
- A majority of EEOC charges received–51.6%–involved allegations of “retaliation,” which includes acts such as firing an employee who filed a prior discrimination complaint.
- The next-most-common categories of complaints were for sex-based discrimination (32.3%), followed by disability discrimination (32.2%) and race discrimination (32.2%).
- The EEOC “resolved” a total of 90,558 discrimination complaints during FY 2018. In the aggregate, the EEOC said it obtained $505 million for victims of discrimination in both the private and public sectors.
- The EEOC filed 199 lawsuits on behalf of victims of discrimination during FY 2018, including 45 cases in which there were “multiple victims or discriminatory policies,” and 37 cases of alleged “systemic discrimination.”
The EEOC also provided detailed state-by-state breakdowns of the charges it received. In New York State, the EEOC received a total of 3,478 discrimination charges in FY 2018, which represented 4.6% of all complaints received nationwide. Of the New York-based charges, 1,654 alleged retaliation, 1,299 alleged sex discrimination, 995 alleged disability discrimination, 806 alleged age discrimination, 492 alleged national origin discrimination, and 248 alleged religious discrimination.
Get Advice from a New York Employment Discrimination Lawyer
EEOC plays a critical role in protecting individuals who have suffered some form of workplace discrimination. But the EEOC is not the only forum for dealing with such problems. New York State and New York City have their own employment discrimination laws and enforcement mechanisms, which in many cases afford New Yorkers with greater protections than even federal law. So if you have been affected by discrimination, it is in your best interest to speak with a qualified New York City employment attorney to learn more about all of your options.
Call the Nisar Law Group, P.C., at 646.760.6493 today to schedule a free consultation with an employment discrimination lawyer today.