For fiscal year 2013, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received less than 94,000 new private sector charges of employment discrimination, marking the lowest level since 2009.
The official number for fiscal year 2013—the year ended Sept. 30, 2013—is of 93,727, the EEOC said in a statement earlier this month, which also highlighted other performance measures from the agency’s Fiscal Year 2013 Performance and Accountability Report (PAR).
The latest charge total represents a 6,000-charge decline from the three prior fiscal years, each of which came in over 99,000. Fiscal years 2010 and 2011, in fact, were close to 100,000.
Still, the EEOC media statement notes that 2013 ranks as one of the top five fiscal years in terms of receipts. On the down side, The EEOC also said that a total of 97,252 charges were resolved in fiscal year 2013, nearly 14,000 fewer than in fiscal year 2012, attributing the decline to reduced staffing and resource challenges which the agency this year.
Charge statistics by type of discrimination—race, sex, national origin, retaliation, etc.—are not yet available from the EEOC.
As a result of sequestration, the EEOC furloughed its entire workforce for 40 hours, froze hiring, and reduced its budget for litigation, information technology, travel and contracts for services, among other things, the statement said.
In the face of these challenges, the agency maintained its overall pending inventory of private sector charges steady with the prior year’s inventory, showing less than 1 percent change (only 469 charges), the EEOC reported in its annual PAR, filed on Dec. 16.
At the end of the fiscal year, pending inventory stood at 70,781. The average time for the enforcement staff to investigate and bring charges to resolution was, however, reduced by 21 days to 267 days, the EEOC said.
Reporting on another positive performance indicators from the EEOC’s perspective, the agency said it obtained a record $372.1 million in monetary relief for victims of private sector workplace discrimination in fiscal years 2013—$6.7 million more than 2012, and the highest level obtained in the Commission’s history.
The EEOC also said it filed 131 merits lawsuits during the year—89 individual suits, 21 non-systemic class suits, and 21 systemic suits.
In addition, the EEOC’s private sector national mediation program conducted 11,513 mediations and secured 8,890 mediated resolutions.
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission