2011 Record Year For EEOC Complaints, Settlements

Filed under: Discrimination,Labor,News |

It was a record year for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and it could be said the EEOC became more efficient despite receiving the most workplace discrimination complaints in its 46-year history..

The EEOC received a record 99,947 charges of discrimination in fiscal year 2011, which ended 30 Sept. 2011.

Despite this, The EEOC ended fiscal y2011 with a 10% decrease in its pending charge inventory — the first such reduction since 2002.

The EEOC also achieved the highest ever monetary amounts through administrative enforcement, and received a record number of charges of discrimination, the agency reported in its annual Performance and Accountability Report (PAR).

EEOC staff also delivered historic relief through administrative enforcement — more than $364.6 million in monetary benefits for victims of workplace discrimination. This is also the highest level obtained in the EEOC’s history.

Jacqueline A. Berrien

Jacqueline A. Berrien

The fiscal year ended with 78,136 pending charges — a decrease of 8,202 charges, or 10%. In previous years, the pending inventory had increased as staffing declined 30% between fiscal years 2000 and 2008.

“I am proud of the work of our employees and believe this demonstrates what can be achieved when we are given resources to enforce the nation’s laws prohibiting employment discrimination,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. “The EEOC was able to strategically manage existing resources and take full advantage of increased resources in the past two fiscal years to make significant progress towards effective enforcement of the nation’s civil rights laws.”

Due to EEOC’s enforcement programs in both the private and federal sectors, 5.4 million individuals benefitted from changes in employment policies or practices in their workplace during the past fiscal year. Additionally, EEOC’s public outreach and education programs reached approximately 540,000 persons directly.

At the end of the fiscal 2011, there were 580 systemic EEOC investigations involving more than 2,000 charges under way.

EEOC field legal units filed 261 lawsuits — 23 of which involved systemic allegations affecting large numbers of people; 61 had multiple victims (less than 20); and 177 were individual lawsuits.

The EEOC’s private sector national mediation program also achieved historic highs, obtaining more than $170 million in monetary benefits for complainants, and securing the highest number of resolutions in the history of the program — 9,831.

This is 5% more than the number of resolutions reported in fiscal year 2010.

In the federal sector, where the EEOC has different enforcement obligations, the commission resolved a total of 7,672 requests for hearings, securing more than $58 million in relief for parties who requested hearings. It also resolved 4,510 appeals from final agency determinations.

The EEOC’s FY 2011 PAR is posted on the agency’s web site at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/index.cfm. Comprehensive enforcement and litigation statistics for fiscal year 2011 will be available in early 2012.

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