My EEOC Charge is 1 in 90,000 - EEOC Fiscal Year 2018 Enforcement and Litigation Data

On April 10, 2019, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released detailed breakdowns of its work in fiscal year 2018 which ended on September 30, 2018. You can find details on its website but some remarkable statistics are as follows:

  • Received 76,418 charges of workplace discrimination

  • Resolved 90,558 charges of discrimination (including those filed in prior years)

  • Secured $505 million for victims in private sector, state and local government, and federal workplaces

  • Handled over 519,000 calls to its toll-free number, 34,600 emails and more than 200,000 inquiries in field offices

  • Filed 199 merits lawsuits alleging discrimination, including 117 individual suits and 45 suits involving multiple victims or discrimin­atory policies and 37 systemic discrimination cases

  • Achieved a successful outcome in 95.7 percent of all district court resolutions

Often, people inquire whether the #MeToo movement spurred more legal disputes. EEOC data demonstrates this was indeed the case. The agency also received 7,609 sexual harassment charges – a 13.6 percent increase from FY 2017 – and obtained $56.6 million in monetary benefits for victims of sexual harassment.

However, leading the pack as the most frequently alleged basis of discrimination with 51.6% of all charges filed, was “retaliation”, followed by “sex”, then “disability” then “race”, then “age”.

Myths In Employment Civil Rights Litigation: Odds

Myth 6. Plaintiffs have high odds of success and win large awards.

Although media coverage gives that impression, we find that some 36 percent of plaintiffs have their cases dismissed or thrown out on a motion for summary judgment and 50 percent of plaintiffs receive settlements early on, with an average settlement of $30,000. Of those cases that go to trial (6 percent), only one-third end with a win for the plaintiff.

More significantly, we find that plaintiffs often pay a high personal cost for their involvement in discrimination lawsuits. Beginning in the workplace, once they start to raise the possibility that they were discriminated against and certainly if they file a charge, they face ostracism from management and even co-workers...