Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released information on charges filed with the agency in fiscal year 2018. Total charges declined to 76,418, the lowest number filed with the EEOC since 2006. Although the EEOC did not comment on the reasons for the reduction in charges, the U.S.’s low unemployment rate means fewer terminations and failure to hire circumstances that often lead to charges.
Of the charges filed last year, the majority included a retaliation component. In fact, more retaliation claims were filed than any other protected classification. Employees who report alleged discriminatory work practices frequently believe that their employers take adverse action against them as a result of the complaints. As expected, sexual harassment claims rose 13.6% in 2018 following the highly publicized #MeToo movement.
On a positive note, the EEOC announced a 20% decrease in its backlog of pending charge investigations. The agency attributed this progress to more efficient charge processing procedures, as well as expanding use of the EEOC’s digital charge platform.