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As a firm that practices both employment law and litigation, we take interest in the annual Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) report. Each year, the EEOC publishes a summary and breakdown of the types of workplace discrimination charges received by the agency (based on a Fiscal Year ending September 30). What did the EEOC report of 2019 say?
Retaliation continues to be the most frequently filed charge filed with the agency, followed by disability, race, and sex. Surprisingly, the EEOC received 7,514 sexual harassment charges – a reduction of nearly 100 cases from 2018. The agency had previously seen a 13.6% increase in sexual harassment filings from 2017 to 2018, which it attributed to #MeToo movement, and previously thought that this trend would continue well into the future.
The top ten charges filed with the EEOC in 2019 are as follows:
Notably, these percentages add up to more than 100 percent due to the fact that some charges allege multiple bases. Of these, Pennsylvania accounted for 5.9% of total U.S. charges, up slightly from last year (5.8%). However, Pennsylvania saw a decline in the total number of charges filed in 2019, from 4,463 to 4,312.
Overall, it remained a busy year for the EEOC. Its legal staff filed 144 merits lawsuits alleging discrimination in fiscal year 2019. It also resolved 173 merits suits, recovering over $39.1 million for 2,479 individuals. The EEOC achieved a successful outcome (settlement or favorable court order) in 95% of all suit resolutions.
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Attorney Graig Schultz represents businesses in employment litigation matters, appearing before state and federal courts as well as the EEOC.