On April 10, 2019, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its enforcement and litigation data for fiscal year 2018. This EEOC press release highlights some of the statistics. The EEOC noted that, in 2018, it resolved over 90,000 charges of discrimination and recovered over $500 million on behalf of those who experienced workplace discrimination. In addition, Acting Chair Lipnic commented that: “We cannot look back on the last year without noting the significant impact of the #MeToo movement in the number of sexual harassment and retaliation charges filed” with the EEOC. In fact, in FY2018, retaliation charges remained the most common type of charge filed with the EEOC (39,469) representing just over half of all charges filed. Relatedly, sexual harassment charges increased by 13.6% from last fiscal year, with 7,609 charges filed on this basis. The EEOC’s summary indicates that charges of discrimination based on the Equal Pay Act (1,066) and Genetic Information (220) were the least common types of charges filed in FY2018.
In addition to the data regarding the charges filed with the EEOC, a full summary of the litigation statistics also is available on the EEOC website. In FY2018, the EEOC filed 217 suits, which is up just slightly from FY2017 (201 suits), but up significantly from FY2016 (114 suits). Of the suits filed by the EEOC in FY2018, the greatest number included claims under Title VII (111 suits) which contrasts sharply with suits that included Equal Pay Act claims (5) and GINA claims (0).
The FY2018 charge data and litigation statistics reflect continuing significant issues involving discrimination in our workplaces, leaving employers to contend with exposure to significant hard and soft costs in addressing these allegations, which we discussed here. For employers, training employees and managers is critical to preventing discrimination and harassment. In addition, adopting, implementing, and enforcing appropriate anti-harassment and related policies and procedures can be essential to avoiding improper workplace conduct. The NM Labor & Employment Group can assist employers with the tools needed to prevent harassment in your workplace.