The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received 89,385 charges of workplace discrimination in fiscal year 2015, according to the detailed breakdowns the agency released last month.
While some areas of discrimination, such as age and religion, saw a slight decrease from the previous fiscal year, retaliation charges increased by nearly five percent, making up 45 percent of all private sector charges filed with EEOC and continuing to be the leading area of discrimination.
Also seeing an increase from fiscal year 2014 is disability charges, which saw a six-percent increase in fiscal year 2015, placing it as the third-largest category.
According the the EEOC, the agency resolved 92,641 charges during fiscal year 2015, securing more than $525 million for victims of discrimination in the private sector, as well as local, state and federal workplaces–includes $356.6 million for victims of employment discrimination in private sector and state and local government workplaces through mediation, conciliation and settlements; $65.3 million for charging parties through litigation; and $105.7 million for federal employees and applicants.
EEOC Chair Jenny Yang believes the agency plays an important role in workplaces, working with employers to create a productive environment.
“Over the past year, EEOC removed barriers to hire and obtained relief for thousands of people facing retaliation, unfair pay, harassment and other forms of discrimination,” Yang said. “At the same time, we demonstrated our strong commitment to working with employers to voluntarily resolve charges of discrimination by achieving the highest mediation and conciliation success rates in our history.”
Preventing harassment through systemic enforcement and targeted outreach is a national priority for EEOC, launching a Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace in March 2015 to examine and identify the various forms of workplace harassment based on race, age, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity and promote strategies to prevent it.
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