EEOC Workplace Discrimination Charges near Record Highs For 2009

In 2009, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had over 93,277 employment discrimination charges filed — just missing the 2008 record by 2.2 percent. The acting chairman of the EEOC issued a statement in light of this data calling on employers across the country to step up their efforts to combat workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation.

All told, in 2009, the EEOC gleaned $376 million for victims, of which $72 million went to victims of age discrimination. In 2008, the EEOC collected $376.6 million, of which $83 million went to age discrimination claims. The top three kinds of workplace discrimination allegations last year were race-based (36%); retaliation-based (36%); and gender based discrimination (30%). According to data from the Office of Research, Information and Planning, charges of workplace discrimination have been trending upwards pretty steadily since 1998, when the EEOC filed 79,591 claims.

You can find a table summarizing these data here. Some claims involve allegations of multiple types of discrimination — such as national origin AND retaliation; or sexual harassment AND age discrimination — so bear that in mind as you parse the statistics to identify trends.

If you, a family member, friend or coworker experience workplace discrimination, the attorneys here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum can help. Dial us for a free, confidential, zero obligation consultation at any time at (212) 688-5640, or learn more about our team, services, and credentials at

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