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After record highs, discrimination claims decrease in 2013

For three years, the number of discrimination claims that were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission were at some of the highest levels in the agency’s history. From 2010 to 2012, there were a minimum of 90,000 claims filed each year. These claims included discrimination or bias against all protected classes -- a trend that is common during a recession.

As the country began to recover, those claims began to decline. With an closing date of Sept. 30, the 2013 fiscal year ended with a number that was still above 90,000, but it was approximately 6,000 claims fewer than the year before. That number is still well above the approximately 75,000 bias claims that were filed per year around 2005 and 2006.

What is interesting to note is that although the number of claims filed has begun to decline, the total of all awards actually increased. In 2012, there was a record number of $365 million awarded to the victims of this type of workplace violation. In 2013, despite the overall decrease in claims, the monetary awards totaled $372 million, an increase of $7 million from the year prior.

According to a Business Management report, one factor that could help to explain this seeming contradiction is a targeted focus by the EEOC on companies that have not one isolated incident but instead an entire “systemic culture of job bias.”

Employers are not the only ones that the EEOC has put under the spotlight. The agency itself has worked to decrease the time in which they investigate and resolve these types of cases, decreasing the average time period in 2013 by 21 days.

How can an individual in Evesham who is currently suffering or has suffered workplace discrimination take control of their own situation? They can seek the advice of an attorney who can help them find the legal resolution they deserve.

Source: Business Management, “EEOC: Fewer bias claims in 2013, bigger bucks,” Jan. 8, 2014

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