The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) recently released the results of their 2017 Annual Performance and Accountability Report. 2017 marked a year of significant progress in the EEOC’s longstanding pending charge inventory. Much of the headway can be attributed to new strategies that helped prioritize cases more efficiently and resolve investigations more quickly.
Coupled with improvements made to the agency’s digital systems, 99,109 charges were successfully resolved—an increase of 1,600 charges over the 2016 fiscal year. When the 2017 fiscal year ended on September 30, the charge inventory had been reduced to 61,621, its lowest in a decade.
The Performance and Accountability Report revealed that, in addition to the strides they made in charge resolution, the agency received over 540,000 calls and more than 155,000 inquiries through their field offices. The sheer volume of activity reflects the growing demand for their services and emphasizes the rising need for a workplace anti-discrimination watchdog.
Top ten discrimination charges
According to the report, which details the ten most commonly filed charges, over 84,000 were filed in 2017. For the seventh consecutive year, retaliation was the most frequently reported charge, followed by race and disability. The report also acknowledged the receipt of 6,696 sexual harassment charges. Below is a detailed breakdown:
- Retaliation: 41,097 (48.8 percent of all charges filed)
- Race: 28,528 (33.9 percent)
- Disability: 26,838 (31.9 percent)
- Sex: 25,605 (30.4 percent)
- Age: 18,376 (21.8 percent)
- National Origin: 8,299 (9.8 percent)
- Religion: 3,436 (4.1 percent)
- Color: 3,240 (3.8 percent)
- Equal Pay Act: 996 (1.2 percent)
- Genetic Information: 206 (.2 percent)
The Annual Performance and Accountability Report showed a significant increase in agency filed discrimination lawsuits. At 184, it’s more than double those filed in the 2016 fiscal year. In the 109 lawsuits resolved in 2017, over 90 percent of all suits resulted in favorable outcomes, and 4,500 people received monetary rewards as a direct result.
The bottom line
In 2017, the EEOC had successfully secured a total of $484 million for victims of discrimination. In addition, they cemented significant changes to discriminatory practices that would prevent any future discriminatory conduct.
For more information about the Annual Performance and Accountability Report, or what to do if you believe you’ve been a victim of discrimination, visit www.eeoc.gov.