Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On February 26, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – an agency advancing opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – released Enforcement and Litigation Statistics with breakdowns for the 67,448 charges of workplace discrimination the agency received in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 ending on September 30, 2020, according to an EEOC press release.

“EEOC advances opportunity for all of our nation’s workers and plays a critical role in ensuring justice in the American workplace. Despite an incredibly challenging year, the EEOC’s dedicated workforce advanced the agency’s mission to fight employ­ment discrimination on all fronts,” EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows, who was appointed Chair by President Joe Biden in January 2021, stated in the press release.

The FY 2020 data show that retaliation remained the most frequently cited claim in charges filed with the agency – accounting for a staggering 55.8 percent of all charges filed – followed by disability, race, and sex. Specif­ically, the charge numbers show the following categories of discrimination, in descending order of frequency (NOTE: These percentages add up to more than 100 percent because some charges allege multiple bases.):

  • Retaliation: 37,632 (55.8 percent of all charges filed)
  • Disability: 24,324 (36.1 percent)
  • Race: 22,064 (32.7 percent)
  • Sex: 21,398 (31.7 percent)
  • Age: 14,183 (21.0 percent)
  • National Origin: 6,377 (9.5 percent)
  • Color: 3,562 (5.3 percent)
  • Religion: 2,404 (3.6 percent)
  • Equal Pay Act: 980 (1.5 percent)
  • Genetic Information: 440 (0.7 percent)

The EEOC resolved 70,804 charges in FY 2020 and increased its merit factor resolution rate to 17.4 percent from 15.6 percent the prior year. The agency responded to over 470,000 calls to its toll-free number and more than 187,000 inquiries in field offices, including 122,775 inquiries through the online intake and appointment scheduling system. The agency also reduced its inventory of pending charges by 3.7 percent.

The EEOC secured $439.2 million for victims of discrimination in the private sector and state and local government workplaces through voluntary resolutions and litigation. The comprehensive enforcement and litigation statistics for FY 2020, which also includes detailed breakdowns of charges by state, are posted on the agency’s website at www.eeoc.gov/statistics/enforcement-and-litigation-statistics.

The EEOC legal staff resolved 165 merits lawsuits and filed 93 lawsuits alleging discrimination in FY 2020. The EEOC recovered just over $106 million for charging parties and other aggrieved individuals through litigation, representing the largest recovery through the EEOC’s litigation program in the past 16 years. The EEOC achieved a successful outcome in 95.8 percent of all district court resolutions. To learn about the EEOC, visit www.eeoc.gov.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check provider that was ranked the number one screening firm by HRO Today in 2020 – complies with the EEOC’s “Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act” when conducting background checks to avoid discrimination. To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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