EEOC Charges- Preserving Federal Claims Of Discrimination

Find out the latest on what types of charges are filed with the EEOC and how to preserve federal claims of discrimination in employment cases.
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EEOC released FY 2019 Enforcement data. Total charges filed were the lowest since at least 1997, which is the oldest published data. Retaliation charges still lead the pack at 53.8% of all charges filed. Last year charges on the basis of sex were the second most filed charges, this year disability charges edged them out for the second place, and race-based charges surpassed sex charges.

None of this is really surprising and consistent with what we have seen in our practice. Much speculation about the drop in charges, but I think more claims are being filed in state courts completely skipping federal claims, being sent directly to arbitration and denied equal access to justice and ultimately a constitutional right to a jury trial, and more cases are being resolved prior to filing EEOC charges. One less cynical could presume that there are simply fewer cases, but that has not been our experience. In fact, we have seen an uptick in discrimination claims, and worse, we have seen more egregious violations. 

Specifically, the charge numbers show the following breakdowns by bases alleged, in descending order:

  • Retaliation: 39,110 (53.8 percent of all charges filed)
  • Disability: 24,238 (33.4 percent)
  • Race: 23,976 (33.0 percent)
  • Sex: 23,532 (32.4 percent)
  • Age: 15,573 (21.4 percent)
  • National Origin: 7,009 (9.6 percent)
  • Color: 3,415 (4.7 percent)
  • Religion: 2,725 (3.7 percent)
  • Equal Pay Act: 1,117 (1.5 percent)
  • Genetic Information: 209 (0.3 percent)

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heather m collins attorney nashville square

Heather M. Collins is an experienced civil rights and employment law attorney who has dedicated her career to protecting the rights of employees.

She has represented clients in a wide range of employment-related matters, including discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims.

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