The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced this week that it received 99,412 employment discrimination complaints in 2012. While this number sounds very large, it is actually a slight decrease from the number of complaints fielded in 2011. However, the EEOC is still receiving historically high amounts of complaints. For example, the current number of discrimination charges is 32 percent higher than the number that came in back in 2005.
The most frequently filed employment discrimination charges involved retaliation, according to the EEOC. The second most frequent type involved race discrimination, and the third most frequent involved sex discrimination--which includes charges of both sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination.
The number of EEOC lawsuits decreased substantially from 2011 to 2012; in 2011 it filed 261 lawsuits on behalf of workers against employers and in 2012 it filed only 122. This reduction in cases is reportedly due to the fact that the EEOC is focusing on pursuing cases in which discrimination is caused by a company policy or another systemic reason. These are discrimination cases that affect more than 20 employees.
Of course, many discrimination complaints do not result in EEOC lawsuits because the agency simply cannot take every single case on. Many discrimination lawsuits are filed by the employee him- or herself with the assistance of an employment law attorney.
While workplace discrimination might be rampant, it is important that Texas workers do not accept this. Both federal law and Texas state law are very clear in guaranteeing workers a right to work in an environment free of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. For various reasons, many employers continue to either harbor hostile and discriminatory work environments, or carry out discriminatory policies. Whenever someone in San Antonio is discriminated against by an employer, it is important that he or she is aware that it is possible to hold the employer accountable as well as receive compensation for damages.
Source: Reuters, "Number of charges at EEOC remains high as case volume falls," Brendan O'Brien, Jan. 29, 2013
- Our employment law firm in San Antonio helps victims of employment discrimination obtain damages for the treatment they have received. For more information about this process, please visit our Discrimination page.