Discrimination, not illegal immigration, fuels Black job crisis (FCN, 05-10-2006)

WASHINGTON , D.C. – Discrimination complaints increased, with the biggest single-year rise since the early 1990s, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

With nearly 83,000 discrimination charges filings in 2007, the numbers were the highest since 2002 and up by nine percent over the previous year, the EEOC reported. The agency said $345 million in monetary relief was recovered for job bias victims over the same time period.


“Corporate America needs to do a better job of proactively preventing discrimination and addressing complaints promptly and effectively,” said Commission Chair Naomi C. Earp. “To ensure that equality of opportunity becomes a reality in the 21st century workplace, employers need to place a premium on fostering inclusive and discrimination-free work environments for all individuals,” she said. The EEOC released the numbers March 5.

“Allegations of discrimination based on race, retaliation, and sex were the most frequently filed charges, continuing a long-term trend. Additionally, nearly all major charge categories showed double digit percentage increases from the prior year–a rare occurrence. The jump in charge filings may be due to a combination of factors, including greater awareness of the law, changing economic conditions, and increased diversity and demographic shifts in the labor force,” the EEOC said.

Complaints of racial discrimination rose 12 percent, with 30,510 complaints, and retaliation complaints hit 26,663, sex and gender 24,826, and 2,880 complaints of discrimination based on religion were logged. Complainants can charge multiple types of discrimination in a single case, the EEOC said.

Complaints were up in every category monitored by the agency. Which also includes national origin, age and disability. EEOC and state and local Fair Employment Practices Agencies also saw increases in charges of pregnancy discrimination and sexual harassment.

The EEOC says it recovered approximately $345 million in total monetary relief for those who filed complaints, up 26 percent from the prior year. “Nearly $55 million was obtained through EEOC litigation and more than $290 million through administrative enforcement, including mediation. Additionally, the agency obtained substantial non-monetary relief, such as employer training, policy implementation, reasonable accommodations, and other measures to promote discrimination-free workplaces,” the EEOC reported.