Federal, state, and local laws have existed for decades to protect employees from discrimination and harassment in the workplace. These laws prohibit employees from being treated unfavorably due to their membership in protected classes, such as race, gender, age, and religion. Of course, many employees know that these laws do not stop discrimination in the workplace from happening.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal laws prohibiting job discrimination and harassment. In the 2021 fiscal year alone, the EEOC filed a total of 61,331 discrimination charges. While this might seem like an extremely high number, charges in 2021 are actually down from the previous years.
Retaliation has consistently been the most common discrimination charge with the EEOC since 2009. In FY 2021, the EEOC had a total of 34,332 charges of retaliation for all statutes, making up 56% of their charges. The EEOC also filed 25,121 charges of retaliation related to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. which the EEOC enforces.
Disability discrimination is the second most frequently filed charge with the EEOC. In FY 2021, there were 22,843 charges of disability discrimination filed with the EEOC, making up 37.2% of their total charges. Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act is one of the various federal laws the EEOC enforces, which makes it illegal to discriminate against employees with disabilities in private companies, as well as state and local governments.
During FY 2021, the EEOC filed 20,908 charges of race discrimination. This number makes up 34.1% of the charges filed with them in the previous fiscal year. Additionally, the EEOC also filed 3,516 charges of color discrimination during the past fiscal year. Race and color discrimination are both prohibited under Title VII.
Sex discrimination charges made up 30.6% of discrimination charges in FY 2021. The total number of sex discrimination charges filed with the EEOC in the previous fiscal year was 18,762. The EEOC also filed 885 charges under the Equal Pay Act (EPA). The EPA requires that employees be given equal pay for equal work regardless of their gender, while Title VII makes it illegal to discriminate against employees based on their sex.
The fifth most frequently filed charge with the EEOC during the 2021 fiscal year was age discrimination. There were 12,965 age discrimination charges filed, which was 21.1% of the total number of charges filed during FY 2021. The EEOC enforces the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which makes it illegal to discriminate against employees 40 years old and older.
Dedicated NYC Employment Discrimination Attorneys
While tens of thousands report employment discrimination each year, there are likely many more who experience it and don’t say anything. This also doesn’t count the number of employees filing discrimination and harassment charges with their state or local agencies. If you’ve experienced one of these forms of discrimination or another illegal type of discrimination or harassment at work, don’t wait to get help.
Bantle & Levy is dedicated to keeping employees protected from discrimination and harassment and fighting for safe, respectful workplaces. Contact us today if you’ve faced discrimination.