Workplace Discrimination Remains a Huge Problem

Today, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its 2020 data report. In 2020, the EEOC received 67,448 charges of workplace discrimination. With these tens of thousands of charges, the agency secured $439.2 million for victims of workplace discrimination. According to the EEOC press release, this amount includes voluntary payouts and litigation awards for both private and public places of employment. Clearly, workplace discrimination remains a huge problem.

There is a lot of interesting data in this report that impacts workers. One thing that jumped out at me is the sheer volume of inquiries to the EEOC. For example, the EEOC responded to more than 470,000 calls to its toll-free number. It responded to more than 187,000 inquiries in field offices, including 122,775 inquiries through its online system. Clearly there was significant demand for EEOC’s services. The EEOC truly is a great resource for those mistreated at work.

Most Common Charges

Here is a breakdown of discrimination charges filed with the EEOC.

Retaliation: 37,632 (55.8 percent of all charges filed)

Disability: 24,324 (36.1 percent)

Race: 22,064 (32.7 percent)

Sex: 21,398 (31.7 percent)

Age: 14,183 (21.0 percent)

National Origin: 6,377 (9.5 percent)

Color: 3,562 (5.3 percent)

Religion: 2,404 (3.6 percent)

Equal Pay Act: 980 (1.5 percent)

Genetic Information: 440 (0.7 percent)

These percentages add up to more than 100% because some charges allege multiple bases.

Great Quote from EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows

“The current pandemic is not only a public health crisis and an economic crisis—it’s also a civil rights crisis.  COVID-19 and its economic fallout is disproportionately impacting people of color, women, older workers, individuals with disabilities, and other vulnerable workers, and that impact has serious implications in the workplace.”

This year, more than others, has been challenging for all of us. It is in the best interest of employers to fairly treat their employees. As these stats show, failure to do so can be awfully expensive. These stats also show that discrimination will not be tolerated. Lastly, they show that workplace discrimination remains a huge problem.

You have rights and we have experience. Please call if you feel like you are a victim of discrimination at your job.

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