More workers than ever filed complaints this year with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concerning office discrimination, the agency said this week.
A total of 99,947 allegations were filed of unfair workplace practices based on race, sex, age, religion, disability or even family medical history, according to the EEOC's annual performance report for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. That's the highest number since the commission was launched through the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The agency also this year won a record amount of monetary relief — nearly $365 million — for employees.
The EEOC said it resolved 112,499 cases through a mix of investigations, conciliations, mediations and litigation. That was about 7% more than last year, when it resolved 104,999 cases.
The agency this year won a consent decree that provided $3 million for about 290 former 3M Co. employees who had accused the company of denying leadership training to and laying off hundreds of workers over age 45.
Another consent decree arising from an EEOC lawsuit provided about 800 Verizon employees with $20 million in compensation. The agency alleged that the company disciplined or fired employees with disabilities because of inflexible attendance policies.
The report said the decree in the Verizon case was the largest disability discrimination settlement in a single lawsuit in EEOC history.