[JURIST] The number of discrimination charges against private employers filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) [official website] increased by nine percent in 2007 [press release], the biggest annual increase since the early 1990s, according to EEOC statistics [charge statistics] released Wednesday. Of the 82,792 complaints filed with the EEOC in 2007, 37 percent covered allegations of racial discrimination and 30.1 percent were based on alleged sex discrimination. Retaliation charges accounted for 32.2 percent of all filings, surpassing even sex-based charges. In 2007, the EEOC resolved 72,442 private sector discrimination complaints and recovered approximately $345 million in compensation for those who had filed discrimination charges. AP has more.
In February 2006, the EEOC reported that discrimination charges against private employers declined by five percent in 2005 [press release; JURIST report], the third straight year the number of complaints fell. EEOC officials pointed to several factors as potential causes of the decrease, including the EEOC's outreach and prevention efforts as well as a general economic slowdown. The EEOC is charged with enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws [EEOC materials] among private employers. The US Department of Justice enforces the federal anti-discrimination statutes for government workers.