The 2017 fiscal year for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ended on Sept. 30. According to the EEOC, retaliation charges were the most common filings with 41,097 received during that time period. There were a total of 28,528 charges related to race and another 26,838 were related to disability. Altogether, the EEOC received 84,254 workplace discrimination charges in California and elsewhere for fiscal year 2017, and the agency was able to resolve 99,109 charges in that same time period.
In addition to the charges filed, the EEOC received more than 540,000 calls to its toll-free number. Another 155,000 inquiries were made to field offices located around the country. Roughly $398 million was won on behalf of those who were victims of discrimination in the workplace. The money was won through both settlements and litigation, and money was obtained from both private and public sector employers.
There were 242 lawsuits on the EEOC docket at the end of fiscal year 2017. During that time period, it had filed 184 lawsuits and obtained a favorable outcome in 90.8 percent of cases that it decided to pursue. At the end of fiscal year 2017, the charge inventory had dropped by 16.2 percent to 61,621, which was the lowest in the previous 10 years.
Generally, an employer is not allowed to interfere with protected actions at work. They are also generally not allowed to deny workers a minimum hourly wage or overtime pay if applicable. Those who believe that they were discriminated or retaliated against for making a discrimination claim may benefit from talking to an attorney. Compensation for back pay or other damages may be available if a claim is successful.