The EEOC recently reported that workplace discrimination charge filings soared to an unprecedented level of 95,402 during 2008. This figure constitutes a 15% increase over the prior year. In the private sector, every major categories of charge filings increased. The largest annual increases were charges based on age discrimination and retaliation. Discrimination allegations based on race, sex and retaliation continued to be the most frequently filed charges.
The EEOC attributes the surge in charge filings to a number of factors including economic conditions, increased diversity and demographic shifts in the labor force, employees’ greater awareness of the law, the EEOC’s focus on systemic litigation, and changes to the EEOC’s intake practices.