By Dan Cook
Despite much moaning about discrimination against aging workers — particularly during the recent recession — stats from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission suggest that two old standbys still receive the lion’s share of attention from the enforcement agency.
The release of the EEOC’s latest Performance and Accountability report showed that charges pursued by the agency were led by racial discrimination (36 percent) and discrimination based on gender (31 percent). Close behind came retaliatory discrimination (30 percent), with age discrimination lagging at 22 percent. (The percentages exceed 100 percent because many cases involve multiple charges.)
Either no one discriminates based on religion or the agency doesn’t pursue such cases; religious discrimination comprised just 3.4 percent of the caseload.
As has been noted with other agencies (notably the National Labor Relations Board and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the EEOC has been actively pursuing corporate miscreants under the Obama administration. Enforcement was vigorous in 2013, resulting in “monetary benefits” of $372.1 million — a private-sector enforcement record.
That was achieved despite a decline in charges filed of about 7 percent (to 93,727) compared to the year earlier. Number of cases resolved in 2013 was down 14 percent from the prior year to 97,252.
“While this is a significant decrease in resolutions, it is also a remarkable achievement given the decline in staffing and resources the agency faced in FY 2013,” the agency said.
Also, it took the agency 267 days to resolve the average discrimination charge, a decrease on average of 21 days from the prior year. Appeals were down 2.4 percent, to 4,244.
“FY 2013 was the second year in which the EEOC applied a more balanced approach to the resolution of the newest and oldest appeals. The agency resolved 4,361 appeals, including 47.9 percent of them within 180 days of their receipt,” the agency commented.
So that’s it: Today’s EEOC is doing more with less.