Tuesday, November 22, 2011

EEOC Reports Record Year

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released statistics and figures for the 2011 fiscal and revealed a record-level of complaints file and money obtained for charging parties.  From The Huffington Post article on the numbers:

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received just shy of 100,000 charges from citizens during the 2011 fiscal year, the most logged in a single year in the agency's 46-year history, according to a new report. The agency also managed to obtain a historic amount of monetary relief for alleged victims of job discrimination -- $365 million, the most on record.

So what explains the record level of complaints?  The article attributes a large part to the "sputtering economy" but it could also have something to do with a more aggressive EEOC since there's a Democratic regime in charge.  

The EEOC's numbers reflect the "severity of the economic downturn," says Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group for workers.
"At times like this, when job loss makes workers especially vulnerable, employers bent on breaking the law are even more likely to do so," Owens told HuffPost in a statement. "The strong report the EEOC has released today underscores how critical it is for America's workers that we maintain robust laws and regulations to ensure protection of basic labor standards."
Employment discrimination complaints filed with the EEOC have generally been rising over the previous decade, with a pronounced spike during the weak economy of the last four years.  

It would be interesting if the Equal Rights Division released figures to see if Wisconsin had a parallel record-breaking year.

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