Late last month, a report was released on the number of workplace discrimination charges filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) during fiscal year 2017, which ran from October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017. A total of 84,254 charges were filed during that period, representing an 8.2% decrease from the number of charges filed during fiscal year 2016. The report also listed the top ten categories of charges filed with the EEOC during fiscal year 2017, which are as follows:
- Retaliation: 48.8% of all charges filed
- Race: 33.9%
- Disability: 31.9%
- Sex: 30.4%
- Age: 21.8%
- National Origin: 9.8%
- Religion: 4.1%
- Color: 3.8%
- Equal Pay Act: 1.2%
- Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act: 0.2%
These percentages add up to more than 100% because employees often allege multiple types of illegal action in their charges.
The nationwide trend also proved to be true in Pennsylvania, where complainants filed nearly 1.1% fewer charges in fiscal year 2017 than in fiscal year 2016.
Despite this slight dip in charges, employers should not let their guard down. Instead, employers must constantly be vigilant in detecting and addressing any potential discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. Establishing appropriate policies and procedures, as well as providing training, are excellent ways to aid in this goal. For help with drafting or reviewing employee handbook policies, conducting training for employees and managers, or responding to a charge of discrimination, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Labor and Employment Department.