Discrimination charges approach record high in FY 2009, EEOC says
More than 93,000 discrimination charges were filed with the federal agency nationwide during FY 2009 -- the second highest level. Monetary relief obtained for victims totaled more than $376 million.
Officials said the data show that private sector job bias charges -- which include those filed against state and local governments -- alleging discrimination based on disability, religion and/or national origin hit record highs. More than 21,000 charges of violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act were filed with the EEOC in FY 2009. The number of charges alleging age-based discrimination reached the second-highest level.
"The latest data tell us that, as the first decade of the 21st century comes to a close, the commission's work is far from finished," said Stuart J. Ishimaru, acting chairman of the EEOC.
Officials said the total discrimination charge filings may be due to multiple factors, including greater accessibility of the EEOC to the public, economic conditions, increased diversity and demographic shifts in the labor force, employees' greater awareness of their rights under the law, and changes to the agency's intake practices that cut down on the steps needed for an individual to file a charge.
With the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, Jan.1, 2009, workers' comp experts anticipate an increase in disability-related charges. The EEOC is reviewing more than 600 public comments in response to the ADAAA, which revised the definition of disability and is expected to increase the number of reasonable accommodation requests for employers. The agency said it will issue the final regulations in July.
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January 25, 2010
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