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EEOC Charges up 15.2% in FY 2008


December 9, 2008

According to preliminary year-end data released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency received 95,402 private-sector discrimination charges in Fiscal Year 2008, an increase of 15.2% over FY 2007.  As of September 30, 2008, the agency reported a pending backlog of 73,951, compared to 54,970 charges the prior year. At the same time, the EEOC recovered $274.4 million in monetary benefits from employers in FY 2008, down from the $290.6 million recovered in FY 2007. The EEOC has been roundly criticized for inadequate staffing and enforcement efforts, and the new results will no doubt bolster calls for increased funding, staffing, and enforcement activity by the agency. Significantly, President-Elect Obama's website lists combating employment discrimination as the first bullet point in his plan to strengthen civil rights, and the President-Elect has expressed support for increased EEOC funding and enforcement efforts. This emphasis on enforcement, coupled with the continuing rise in discrimination charges and the tight job market likely mean that employers will face increased employment litigation for the foreseeable future.

You can read the EEOC's Fiscal Year 2008 Performance and Accountability Report here.

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