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EEOC Sets Record Highs in Monetary Relief, Intake, and Charge Resolution in 2011

November 28, 2011

According to the annual Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (EEOC), the commission received an unprecedented number of discrimination charges in fiscal year 2011--99,847--the highest number of charges in the EEOC's 46-year history.

The EEOC's PAR, filed earlier this month, showed that in fiscal year 2011, the EEOC staff also brought historic amounts of monetary relief through administrative enforcement--with $364.6 million in benefits for victims of discrimination in the workplace, which was also the highest amount ever obtained in the history of the commission. The fiscal year ended on September 30, 2011, with 78,136 pending charges--a total decrease of 8,202 in discrimination charges, or ten percent. This was the first reduction since 2002, as the pending inventory in the previous years had increased as staffing declined.

As our Irvine employment lawyer blog has recently discussed, the EEOC enforces the federal laws that prohibit workplace discrimination against an employee or job applicant based on race, sex, religion, color, national origin, disability, age (40 years, or older) and genetic information. It is also against the law to discriminate against an individual because the person reported discrimination, filed a discrimination charge, or participated in an employment discrimination lawsuit or investigation.

The EEOC has the authority to investigate discrimination charges against employers who are covered by federal law, and the role of the commission is to accurately and fairly assess the discrimination allegations and then make a finding. If the EEOC discovers that employment discrimination has occurred, the commission can attempt to settle the charges, and if this attempt is not successful, the EEOC has the authority to file an employment lawsuit in order to protect an individual's employment rights. According to the Chair of the EEOC, Jacqueline A. Berrien, the work of the EEOC during this past fiscal year demonstrates what can be achieved when the commission is given the necessary resources to enforce the federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination.

The agency also works to prevent employment discrimination, through education, outreach, and technical assistance programs. The report stated that in the past fiscal year, due to the EEOC's enforcement programs in both the federal and private sectors, 5.4 million individuals benefitted from changes in employment policies or practices in their workplace. The public outreach and education programs also reportedly reached around 540,000 people directly.

The report also detailed that in the federal sector, the Commission resolved a total of 7,672 requests for hearings, and secured over $58 million in relief for parties who requested the hearings. In the private sector, the EEOC's national mediation program obtained over $170 million in monetary benefits for complainants, securing 9,831 resolutions--the highest number of resolutions in the history of the EEOC.

If you have experienced discrimination in the workplace in cities throughout Orange County, California, contact Howard Law, PC today for a free consultation with our labor and employment attorneys about your California labor and employment rights.

EEOC Intake, Relief Obtained and Charges Resolved Hit Record Highs in 2011, The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Press Release, November 15, 2011

Facts About the American's with Disabilities Act, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC

About the EEOC, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (EEOC)

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, (EEOC)

Facts About the Americans with Disabilities Act

Related Blog Posts:

EEOC Disability Discrimination Protection under the ADA, California Employment Lawyers Blog, November 10, 2011

California's Comfort Suites Settles Disability Discrimination Lawsuit for $132,500, California Employment Lawyers Blog, November 8, 2011

EEOC Sues Walgreens for Disability Discrimination, California Employment Lawyers Blog, September 19, 2011

Starbucks Agrees to Pay $75K in Dwarfism and Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Settlement, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 23, 2011

Federal Government Aims to Increase Employment for Disabled People on ADA Anniversary, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 4, 2011

Verizon's Class Action Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Settles for $20 Million, California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 11, 2011

AutoZone to Pay $600K for Disability Discrimination and Failure to Accommodate, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 10, 2011

Starbucks Sued for Dwarfism and Disability Discrimination, California Employment Lawyers Blog, May 18, 2011