EEOC Discrimination Claims Hit Record Numbers in 2011

By Eric B. Meyer

How many claims were filed? And how much money did the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recover for individuals?

According to this November 15, 2011 press release from the EEOC, the number of discrimination claims are skyrocketing:

The EEOC received a record 99,947 charges of discrimination in fiscal year 2011, which ended Sept. 30, the highest number of charges in the agency’s 46-year history. EEOC staff also delivered historic relief through administrative enforcement — more than $364.6 million in monetary benefits for victims of workplace discrimination. This is also the highest level obtained in the Commission’s history. The fiscal year ended with 78,136 pending charges — a decrease of 8,202 charges, or ten percent. In previous years, the pending inventory had increased as staffing declined 30 percent between fiscal years 2000 and 2008.”

And, of course, it is no coincidence that the EEOC’s mediation program — in which I volunteer my time as a mediator — has a good year as well.

The EEOC’s private sector national mediation program also achieved historic highs, obtaining more than $170 million in monetary benefits for complainants, and securing the highest number of resolutions in the history of the program — 9,831. This is 5 percent more than the number of resolutions reported in fiscal year 2010.”

So when was the last time you updated your anti-harassment policy? Or had some respect-in-the-workplace training?

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Now may be as good a time as any to get that done to avoid become another one of the EEOC’s statistics.

This was originally published on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.

You know that scientist in the action movie who has all the right answers if only the government would just pay attention? Eric B. Meyer, Esq. gets companies HR-compliant before the action sequence. Serving clients nationwide, Eric is a Partner at FisherBroyles, LLP, which is the largest full-service, cloud-based law firm in the world, with approximately 210 attorneys in 21 offices nationwide. Eric is also a volunteer EEOC mediator, a paid private mediator, and publisher of The Employer Handbook (, which is pretty much the best employment law blog ever. That, and he's been quoted in the British tabloids. #Bucketlist.