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Employment Law Notebook

EEOC 2012 Report: Retaliation Claims Continue to Rise

Discrimination charges alleging retaliation (an allegation that some kind of adverse action was taken against an employee because he or she complained of discrimination) comprised the largest percentage of all charges (38.1 percent) filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) in its 2012 fiscal year.  Such charges have been rising steadily since 2007.  

Examples of retaliation include termination, refusal to hire, denial of promotion, unjustified negative evaluations, and other actions that are likely to deter reasonable people from pursuing their rights.

Charges alleging race, sex and disability discrimination were the next level of most frequently filed charges at the EEOC  last year.  Race discrimination charges comprised 33.7 percent of the charges filed last year.  Sex discrimination, which include sexual harassment, pregnancy and gender discrimination, comprised 30.5 percent of all charges.  Disability charges, which have been steadily climbing since 2007, comprised 26.5 percent of all charges filed last year.

In New Jersey and New York, retaliation charges comprised the largest group of charges filed in fiscal 2012, mirroring the overall national results.  While in Jersey, race discrimination charges comprised the second largest group of charges filed, continuing to match the national trend, the picture in New York state was different.  In New York, sex discrimination charges comprised the second largest group of charges filed with the EEOC.  The EEOC’s fiscal year runs from October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012.  The EEOC’s full report is available at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/1-28-13.cfm.