On February 26, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released details regarding workplace discrimination charges filed with the EEOC in Fiscal Year (“FY”) 2020, which ended on September 30, 2020.
Of the 67,448 charges of workplace discrimination the agency received in FY 2020, more than half – 37,632 (55.8% of all charges filed) – were for retaliation claims. The next most frequently filed charges were for disability discrimination claims (36.1% of all charges filed), followed by race discrimination and sex discrimination claims. Additional statistics on the EEOC’s enforcement and litigation in FY 2020 are available here.
The statistics on retaliation claims serve as a warning and reminder to all employers to establish workplace policies prohibiting retaliation against employees who engage in protected activities. Protected activities include filing internal complaints of discrimination, participating in investigations of discrimination and filing charges with the EEOC or state or local agencies. Employers should also communicate their anti-retaliation policies to their employees, have their employees sign off on such policies, consistently apply and enforce such policies, and train their supervisors and managers to avoid and prevent retaliation.