The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal government agency that receives and investigates complaints from American employees who have experienced discrimination at work. Each year, the EEOC releases statistics about the claims it receives and how much compensation it has secured for victims. The numbers for the fiscal year 2020 and 2021 are interesting. They show that the EEOC’s overall number of discrimination cases filed went down but the recovery secured has remained consistent.
Fewer cases, more money for victims
According to the EEOC, the agency received 67,448 discrimination filings for FC 2020, 5,227 fewer than the previous fiscal year. The EEOC sorts these complaints into ten categories based on the type of discrimination alleged, such as sex, pregnancy and disability status. Most categories went down last fiscal year except for race and color discrimination claims.
At the same time, the EEOC says it secured more than $535.4 million for victims of discrimination in 2020. Most of that came through settlements and alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation. About $106 million of the total came from litigation, and of that, $69.9 million were the result of systemic lawsuits, more than triple the recovery for the previous year.
A note on sex discrimination
In 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia that the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s ban on sex discrimination also includes discrimination based on a worker’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This ruling is expected to expand protection for LGBTQ+ workers facing discrimination in the U.S.
A step on the road, not necessarily the end
Filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC is often the first step in pursuing a claim of discrimination. If you are interested in learning more about how to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, contact us here.