EEOC Reports 9% Increase in Discrimination Charges for 2007

March 10, 2008

The number of Discrimination Charges filed with the EEOC increased to 82,792 in 2007, up from 75,768 the previous year. Race, Gender and Retaliation charges were the most frequently reported charges.  The EEOC’s nonsensical reporting style makes it difficult to glean much more information since the report doesn’t account for individuals claiming multiple types of discrimination. Also irritating for employers is the EEOC’s explanation for the increase in the number of charges:

EEOC Commission Chair Naomi C. Earp chastised employers in her press release noting that “Corporate America needs to do a better job of proactively preventing discrimination and addressing complaints promptly and effectively. To ensure that equality of opportunity becomes a reality in the 21st century workplace, employers need to place a premium on fostering inclusive and discrimination-free work environments for all individuals.”

Jon Hyman’s Ohio Employer’s Law Blog correctly notes that the increased number of charges has many origins other than a lack of corporate commitment to equal employment opportunity. The unfortunate bias here seems to be the EEOC’s presumption that employers aren’t doing enough to prevent discrimination claims without regard to any evaluation of the merit of charges.