It's LITIGATION WEEK here on the Blawg, where all week long we'll be giving you the latest info and data on the wonderful world of workplace lawsuits. Want to know who's suing whom for what? There's no better place to start than the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), where you can find all the latest employment discrimination statistics here. So, what are the trends? In short: More Complaints Than Ever Before. The EEOC received a record 99,922 complaints last year, the most in its 45-year history. More $$$ Than Ever Before. The EEOC recovered $404 million in damages last year, also a new high. Retaliation #1. Retaliation claims have now surpassed race as the #1 most frequent claim filed with the EEOC. Race had been #1 since the EEOC first started tracking stats back in 1965. Last year, there were a whopping 36,258 retaliation complaints and 35,890 race complaints. Rounding out the top five were sex (29,029), disability (25,165) and age (23,264). What's Up with GINA? In its first year of action, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) registered a mere 201 complaints. Expect those numbers to jump this year, though. Final GINA regulations weren't released until just recently and awareness of the law among employees will only continue to grow. More Class Actions. The EEOC continues to target systemic discrimination, logging 465 investigations that resulted in more than 2,000 class-type charges. More Mediation. The EEOC also ended the year with a record 9,370 resolutions. That was 10 percent higher than 2009, with more than $142 million in monetary benefits. Why the Increase? As we've discussed before here, the formula is pretty simple: MORE UNEMPLOYMENT = MORE COMPLAINTS + MORE DAMAGES. Other reasons driving the increase are the EEOC's renewed emphasis on enforcement, outreach by the EEOC to educate employees, new EEOC workers to handle the influx of complaints and a variety of pro-employee changes to employment laws. What Should Employers Do? Now is not the time to engage in unlawful workplace activity. Stay up-to-speed on the law, visit the Blawg daily, take advantage of all our free tools and tips, educate your managers and always, always, always treat your employees with dignity and respect. Stay tuned for more.
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