Resources to assist an employer in preventing and responding to an EEOC or state administrative agency charge alleging an employment law violation.
Given the record number of charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (www.practicallaw.com/4-501-5853) (EEOC) in fiscal year (FY) 2011, the EEOC's increased staff and pressure on the EEOC to resolve charges faster, employers should continue to take steps to prevent and prepare for employee complaints and EEOC charges.
In FY 2011, the EEOC received 99,947 charges of employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation, which is the highest number of charges in the 46-year history of the agency. This reflects a continuing increase over the 99,922 charges filed in FY 2010, the 93,277 charges filed in FY 2009 and 95,402 charges filed in FY 2008. In addition, the EEOC filed 261 lawsuits in US federal courts, including lawsuits alleging substantive violations of the laws enforced by the EEOC and suits to enforce settlements reached during the EEOC's administrative process. Twenty-three of these cases alleged systemic discrimination, reflecting the EEOC's initiative that began in FY 2006 to prosecute systemic violations of federal anti-discrimination laws.
In FY 2011 the EEOC also secured:
More than $364.6 million in monetary benefits through its administrative enforcement actions in private sector employment, which is the largest amount in the agency's history.
Monetary and non-monetary benefits for more than 19,570 individuals through charge processing.
These statistics suggest that discrimination, harassment and retaliation litigation is at an all-time high.
For more information, see EEOC: FY 2011 Performance and Accountability Report.
Employers can reduce the risk of financial and legal exposure by:
Understanding the legal basics, including requirements under the laws enforced by the EEOC.
Establishing robust policies, including:
equal employment opportunity;
Promptly and thoroughly investigating employee complaints.
Promptly and accurately responding to EEOC charges.
The Responding to an EEOC Charge Toolkit provides several continuously maintained resources designed to help employers prevent and respond to charges of discrimination, harassment and retaliation filed with the EEOC.