EEOC steps up enforcement despite fall in workplace discrimination claims

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—the federal agency that oversees workplace discrimination practices known as the EEOC—employment discrimination claims have dropped since the height of the Great Recession that began in 2008.

However, despite the data that shows a decline in claims, the EEOC is hesitant to believe that U.S. employers are administering proper treatment in the workplace. In fact, the facts reveal that the EEOC may actually be stepping up efforts to crack down on employment discrimination practices across the country.

The data

According to the data, during the periods of 2010-2012, almost 100,000 total job discrimination complaints were filed with the EEOC. The complaints varied but included discrimination accusations on the basis of age, sex, religion, and disability, among others.

However, according to the latest report released by the agency last December, the number of complaints filed in 2013 decreased 6,000 from years past. Roughly 93,000 workplace discrimination complaints were filed last year.

However, despite the decrease, the EEOC isn’t backing down on punishing employers that discriminate. The facts actually reveal that today the agency is getting more aggressive against companies and resolving workplace discrimination claims quicker.

EEOC action

From 2010-2012, the number of complaints filed decreased, but the data shows that the compensation provided to the claimants that did settle or negotiate via mediation in 2013 increased. In 2012, monetary relief for all claimants totaled $365 million. In 2013, compensation for discrimination claims rose to $372.

A big reason for the higher payouts may be attributed to more aggressive action by the EEOC—particularly toward companies that have a history of practicing workplace discrimination and bias.

Further, it seems that the EEOC is also resolving job discrimination claims today much faster than previously. According to a trend reported by Business Management, an online source for business information and news, the total time the agency is taking to investigate and resolve an average claim has decreased by 21 days.

Continued efforts

Despite the improved stance of the U.S. economy and the drop in job discrimination claims filed with the EEOC last year, the agency isn’t likely to slow down efforts to crack down on employers that discriminate—even if both continue to decrease.

A recent graph provided by Business Management shows the continuous increase in job discrimination claims since 2001. That year, there were roughly 80,000 claims filed. As the years passed, that number continued to rise. And, over a decade later, that number reached almost 100,000.