Summary: Insurance Journal analyzed numbers from the EEOC to find out what were the most common workplace discrimination complaints of 2017.
Harassment of all kinds leads to decreased productivity and low company morale. While companies usually have anti-Discrimination policies in place, those rules are often broken, and employees can turn to a few sources for help, including the EEOC.
In 2017, 84,254 workplace discrimination complaints were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). On Friday, Insurance Journal analyzed the EEOC data and found that 10 types of discrimination were the most common.
The following are the 10 most filed workplace discrimination charges, and the percentages equate to over 100% because some cases had multiple charges.
- Retaliation: 41,097 (48.8%)
- Race: 28,528 (33.9%)
- Disability: 26,838 (31.9%)
- Sex: 25,605 (30.4%)
- Age: 18,376 (21.8%)
- National Origin: 8,299 (9.8%)
- Religion: 3,436 (4.1%)
- Color: 3,240 (3.8%)
- Equal Pay Act: 996 (1.2%)
- Genetic Information: 206 (.2%)
Employees who felt discriminated against may file complaints with the EEOC, which will fight on their behalf to remedy the situation and/or secure damages. According to Insurance Journal, the EEOC secured $398 million for victims in FY 2017.
Retaliation was the most cited complaint from employees last year, followed by racial discrimination and then disability.
Sex discrimination was the fourth type of discrimination that was most commonly filed. The topic has been heavily covered in the news since October, when Harvey Weinstein’s decades of workplace abuse was exposed and opened up a floodgate for other victims to come forward.
“There has recently been a great deal of press coverage about sexual harassment,” Steven Snyder, senior counsel at the law firm Jenkins Fenstermaker, said, according to Williams Daily News. “Many companies are concerned that their employees may be subjected to sexual harassment.”
Synder and other attorneys gave a seminar on Wednesday about workplace harassment, and they said that it was important for all business owners to be aware of laws and to create environments free of discrimination and harassment.
Gary Matthews, a lawyer with Jenkins Fenstermaker, said that training was necessary to combat discrimination.
“It’s important for businesses to have training on all forms of harassment and discrimination included with all the other forms of training they may already have,” Matthews said.
The EEOC said that their agency is becoming more efficient at determining cases with merit and resolving those investigations. They stated that they handled 540,000 calls and 155,000 inquiries to their offices, according to Insurance Journal.
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