By Linda H. Evans,
Each year the EEOC issues its yearly report on enforcement and litigation. The report is always a good way to assess the temperature of what’s going on in EEOC world. Among 2013’s highlights are the following:
• Total number of charges received 93,727, down 5% from 2012;
• Total number of charges that resulted in the EEOC filing lawsuits was 131 with the majority being in the areas of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the ADA;
• The new kid on the block for lawsuits is under the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) with the first three filed in 2013;
• For the fifth year in a row … retaliation-based charges win the prize for being the most common. In fact, retaliation charges were up by 3%. We have repeatedly warned you that the danger of a retaliation charge is far greater than a charge of discrimination and these numbers prove it again;
• Next most common charges, in order of prevalence, are race, sex and disability discrimination. There was a slight decrease in sex discrimination charges for 2013;
• The overall percentage of “reasonable cause” findings (which would be finding in favor of the employee) is down slightly from 3.8 % in 2012 to 3.6% in 2013;
• The charges most likely to result in a cause finding for employees? Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) and sexual harassment charges;
• The charges least likely to result in a cause finding? Race and age discrimination charges;
• The state with the most charges filed against employers? Texas wins again with 9,068 and is followed by Florida with 7,597, California with 6,892 and Georgia with 5,162; and finally
• Despite the total decline in charges filed, employees recovered a record $372 million through the EEOC administrative process.
So a friendly reminder … review and update your policies, enforce them consistently and call us for questions … don’t become one of the stats for Texas in 2014!