Spiking EEOC charges and renewed enforcement effort mean HR has to be vigilant

by on May 21, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Spike in EEOC charges

As an employer, you always worry that the person you had to lay off because of the recession will try to even up the score with a discrimination claim. Looks like you were right to worry. They just reported their EEOC charge data for fiscal year 2008. It’s an eye-opener.

RETALIATION, AGE

EEOC charges for discrimination and retaliation filed with the agency shot up by 15% to the highest level – by far – in the past decade. Among the highlights of the report: Retaliation charges kept surging. They account for 34% of all charges filed, up from 23% in 1997. EEOC charges for age bias jumped 29%.

www.eeoc.gov/stats/charges.html

Renewed EEOC Compliance Efforts

It’s already evident that gender discriminatory employment practices are going to be huge targets for the Obama administration. The passage of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was one big sign. Now, the EEOC is making clear it will be all over employers who show bias against women. In a three-day period in February, the EEOC announced that three employers would pay a total of more than $500,000 to settle EEOC charges on behalf of female employees and job applicants.

PAY, DISCIPLINE, HIRING

One lawsuit involved EEOC charges for equal pay (settled for $20,000), one unequal discipline ($32,500), and one the rejection of several qualified women for jobs as trash truck drivers ($475,000).

Cite: EEOC v. Glacier Northwest, EEOC v. Spartan Aeronautics College, EEOC v. Robertson Sanitation.

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