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Report reveals highest number of EEOC discrimination charges ever

The EEOC plans to focus on systemic discrimination in coming years

Littler Mendelson released its first Annual Report on EEOC Developments today, tracking trends in the discrimination charges filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) during the 2011 fiscal year. The EEOC received 99,947 discrimination charges in 2011, the most ever in the commission’s 46-year history and more than a 30 percent increase from 2006.

Even more worrying for employers is the fact that this year the EEOC worked on the largest-ever volume of systemic discrimination cases (suits with 20 or more known expected class members) since it began tracking them in 2006. Of the 235 systemic cases employers faced, 96 of them turned out to have “reasonable cause” that the policies in question were discriminatory. In light of this, the EEOC’s proposed Strategic Plan, released on Jan. 18, says that the commission plans to focus on systemic discrimination in coming years.

Some other noteworthy statistics from the report include:

  • 40 percent of systemic investigations in the 2011 fiscal year resulted in reasonable cause determinations.
  • Around 70 percent of the EEOC’s cases for the 2011 fiscal year were filed in August and September.
  • More than 50 percent of 2011’s lawsuits were filed in seven states: Georgia, Michigan, California, Illinois, Texas, North Carolina and Indiana.

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