Report: EEOC recovered record amount in 2012 for discrimination victims

Report: EEOC recovered record amount in 2012 for discrimination victims

By J.J. Keller & Associates
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) finished fiscal year 2012 with record high monetary recoveries for victims of discrimination, as well as a significant decrease in its inventory of pending cases, the agency announced in its Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) released November 16.

Through is private-sector administrative enforcement, the agency secured $365.4 million, $700,000 more than was recovered in fiscal year 2011.

Administrative enforcement includes mediation, settlements, withdrawals with benefits, and conciliation. Approximately $36 million came from investigations and conciliations of systemic charges of discrimination, four times the amount received in the previous fiscal year.

Additionally, the commission recovered $44.2 million through its litigation program. Overall, there were a total of 122 lawsuits on the merits filed by commission offices nationwide.

In addition, for the second consecutive year, the pending inventory was reduced. During fiscal year 2012, the commission resolved 111,139 charges, and by year end, the total number of unresolved private-sector charges totaled 70,312. From the beginning of fiscal year 2011 to the end of fiscal year 2012, the total number of unresolved charges declined by nearly 20 percent.

For the third consecutive year, the EEOC received nearly 100,000 charges of discrimination, as there were 99,412 charges filed in fiscal year 2012.

The EEOC also made strides in its federal-sector programs, where it provides administrative judges to hear employee complaints of discrimination upon request and also adjudicates appeals from final agency decisions. In fiscal year 2012, the EEOC secured more than $61.9 million in relief for parties who requested hearings in the federal sector.

There were a total of 7,728 requests for hearings received, and the commission’s hearings program resolved a total of 7,538 complaints. During the last fiscal year, the EEOC received 4,350 appeals of final agency actions in the federal sector, a 16 percent decrease from the 5,176 such appeals received in fiscal year 2011.

With respect to the objective of education and outreach, EEOC offices participated in 3,992 educational, training, and outreach events, reaching 318,838 persons in the past fiscal year. These efforts targeted small businesses, vulnerable workers, underserved geographic areas, and communities, and emphasized new statutory responsibilities, issues related to migrant workers, human trafficking and youth, and equal pay in the workplace.

This is the first performance report compiled under the standards of the EEOC’s new strategic plan, which took effect in March 2012. The plan has three objectives: strategic law enforcement, education and outreach, and efficiently serving the public.