Job Discrimination Complaints Jump

Jennifer C. Kerr, AP, March 5, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP)—Federal job discrimination complaints filed by workers against private employers shot up 9 percent last year, the biggest annual increase since the early 1990s.

The data being released Wednesday by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission show allegations of discrimination based on race, retaliation and sex were the most frequent, continuing a long-term trend.

Overall, the commission said complaints increased from 75,768 charges filed in 2006, to 82,792 last fiscal year. That’s the highest complaint level since 2002, and the biggest annual percentage increase since 1993.

Complaints had been trending downward until 2006, when they increased slightly before spiking last year.

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Allegations of discrimination based on race were the leading category of complaints—30,510 in all, or 37 percent of all filings last year, said the commission, which enforces federal anti-discrimination laws among private employers.

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During 2007, 72,442 private sector discrimination complaints were resolved; the commission recovered approximately $345 million in compensation for those who had filed discrimination charges.

SNAPSHOT OF DISCRIMINATION CHARGE FILINGS WITH THE EEOC NATIONWIDE

Basis of Charge Filing FY 2007 FY 2006 Percentage Increase/Historical Comparison
RACE 30,510 27,238 Up 12% to highest level since FY 1994
RETALIATION 26,663 22,555 Up 18% to record high level, double since FY 1992
SEX/GENDER 24,826 23,247 Up 7% to highest level since FY 2002
AGE 19,103 16,548 Up 15%, largest annual increase since FY 2002
DISABILITY 17,734 15,575 Up 14% to highest level since FY 1998
NATIONAL ORIGIN 9,369 8,327 Up 12%, above 9,000 for second time ever
RELIGION 2,880 2,541 Up 13% to record high level, double since FY 1992
TOTAL CHARGES 82,792 75,768 Up 9%, largest annual increase since FY 1993

NOTE: Individuals may allege multiple types of discrimination in a single case.

[Editor’s Note: The EEOC’s report “Job Bias Charges Rise 9% In 2007, EEOC Reports,” can be read here. The data appear below.]


The number for total charges reflects the number of individual charge filings. Because individuals often file charges claiming multiple types of discrimination, the number of total charges for any given fiscal year will be less than the total of the eight types of discrimination listed.

The data are compiled by the Office of Research, Information and Planning from data reported via the quarterly reconciled Data Summary Reports and compiled from EEOC’s Charge Data System and, from FY 2004 forward, EEOC’s Integrated Mission System.

FY 1997 FY 1998 FY 1999 FY 2000 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2004 FY 2005 FY 2006 FY 2007
Total Charges 80,680 79,591 77,444 79,896 80,840 84,442 81,293 79,432 75,428 75,768 82,792
Race 29,199 28,820 28,819 28,945 28,912 29,910 28,526 27,696 26,740 27,238 30,510
36.2% 36.2% 37.3% 36.2% 35.8% 35.4% 35.1% 34.9% 35.5% 35.9% 37.0%
Sex 24,728 24,454 23,907 25,194 25,140 25,536 24,362 24,249 23,094 23,247 24,826
30.7% 30.7% 30.9% 31.5% 31.1% 30.2% 30.0% 30.5% 30.6% 30.7% 30.1%
National Origin 6,712 6,778 7,108 7,792 8,025 9,046 8,450 8,361 8,035 8,327 9,396
8.3% 8.5% 9.2% 9.8% 9.9% 10.7% 10.4% 10.5% 10.7% 11.0% 11.4%
Religion 1,709 1,786 1,811 1,939 2,127 2,572 2,532 2,466 2,340 2,541 2,880
2.1% 2.2% 2.3% 2.4% 2.6% 3.0% 3.1% 3.1% 3.1% 3.4% 3.5%
Retaliation – All Statutes 18,198 19,114 19,694 21,613 22,257 22,768 22,690 22,740 22,278 22,555 26,663
22.6% 24.0% 25.4% 27.1% 27.5% 27.0% 27.9% 28.6% 29.5% 29.8% 32.3%
Retaliation – Title VII only 16,394 17,246 17,883 19,753 20,407 20,814 20,615 20,240 19,429 19,560 23,371
20.3% 21.7% 23.1% 24.7% 25.2% 24.6% 25.4% 25.5% 25.8% 25.8% 28.3%
Age 15,785 15,191 14,141 16,008 17,405 19,921 19,124 17,837 16,585 16,548 19,103
19.6% 19.1% 18.3% 20.0% 21.5% 23.6% 23.5% 22.5% 22.0% 21.8% 23.2%
Disability 18,108 17,806 17,007 15,864 16,470 15,964 15,377 15,376 14,893 15,575 17,734
22.4% 22.4% 22.0% 19.9% 20.4% 18.9% 18.9% 19.4% 19.7% 20.6% 21.4%
Equal Pay Act 1,134 1,071 1,044 1,270 1,251 1,256 1,167 1,011 970 861 818
1.4% 1.3% 1.3% 1.6% 1.5% 1.5% 1.4% 1.3% 1.3% 1.1% 1.0%

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