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”.

So You Think You’ve Been Discriminated Against Based on Your Race? Prove It.

We’ve all had that feeling we’ve rubbed someone the wrong way. This is a feeling that starts in our gut; it is our subjective understanding of the circumstances. Next, we try to objectively examine the way we are being treated relative to the treatment of others around us. We ask, is it me or are people of a different race being treated differently? This analysis is the same one demanded by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) in racial discrimination cases. 

Racial discrimination is often manifested subtly and is difficult to detect.  It can also be extremely difficult to prove. However, one thing is certain, black Americans have faced discrimination in the workplace for the past 25 years. In fact, juries around the country are routinely awarding large sums of damages to African Americans who have demonstrated that they suffered racial discrimination in their respective workplaces. 

To prove race discrimination in the workplace, an employee must be able to demonstrate that they were subjected to an adverse job action based on their race. Generally, an employee has to prove race discrimination using direct evidence. An example of direct evidence would include, among other requirements, a memorandum, email or audio recording expressly stating something to the effect of: “Demote Jane because she is black; we only promote employees who are not black”. However only in rare cases does an employee actually have direct evidence of discrimination. Therefore, courts have accepted circumstantial (also known as indirect) evidence of discrimination. Where there is a sufficient amount of indirect evidence, the court will accept the entire compilation of evidence as proof of discrimination. An example of circumstantial evidence of racial discrimination in the workplace could include, among other requirements, a scenario where all the demoted employees were black, and all the promoted employees were white; without reason.

In order to prevail in a race discrimination lawsuit, the employee must demonstrate that:

  • They are in a protected class;
  • Qualified for a job or performing it adequately;
  • Were denied a job benefit or subjected to a negative job action.
  • The person who got the benefit or who was not subject to the negative job action, was of a different race or the company continued to search for qualified applicants. 

Proving a race discrimination case can be challenging. Additionally, there are strict timelines for reporting and filing racial discrimination claims. 

If you feel you have been discriminated against retaining the professional services of an employment law attorney will prove beneficial to assist you.