On Tuesday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released final statistics on Charges of Discrimination filed and resolved in its most recent fiscal year. The agency received 99,947 Charges, up slightly from 2010, and a new record for private sector discrimination claims. The EEOC's backlog of pending cases actually decreased in 2011 due to greater budgets and resources allocated to investigation and disposition of claims.
In 2011, the EEOC filed 300 lawsuits, and obtained record amounts of monetary relief for claimants, both through litigation and settlement of Charges. These statistics reflect the aggressive litigation posture adopted by the agency, and its increasing willingness to sue rather than leave claimants to finding their own representation.
Of the Charges filed in 2011, retaliation continues to be the most frequently cited basis for relief. While race continues to be the leading basis for discrimination claims, the number of race discrimination claims dropped in 2011. Sex, disability and age discrimination claims increased during this period. Back and other orthopedic impairments led the reasons for ADA claims, followed by depression and diabetes. The EEOC received 245 Charges under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act in its first full year of enforcement of that statute. None of these claims has proceeded to litigation.