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Over 3,000 Fewer Charges Filed with EEOC in FY 2003 Than Prior Year

  • March 10, 2004

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has released its annual report on enforcement and litigation statistics for Fiscal Year 2003 (October 2002 through September 2003). The new data show that 81,293 charges of employment discrimination in the private sector were filed with EEOC field offices nationwide last fiscal year, as compared with 84,442 in FY 2002. The EEOC resolved 87,755 charges in FY 2003 for $236 million in monetary benefits and other relief.  The agency filed 361 new lawsuits and resolved 378 suits resulting in $149 million in monetary benefits as well as significant injunctive and remedial relief.

In a pattern similar to FY 2002, in FY 2003, race-based charges were the most frequently alleged type of discrimination, followed by sex/gender, retaliation, age, disability, national origin, religion, and equal pay.

The 81,293 total private sector charge filings in FY 2003 break down as follows:

Race 28,526 35.1% of total charges
Sex/Gender 24,362 30.0% of total charges
Retaliation 22,690 27.9% of total charges
Age 19,124 23.5% of total charges
Disability 15,377 18.9% of total charges
National Origin 8,450 10.4% of total charges
Religion 2,532 3.1% of total charges
Equal Pay 1,167 1.4% of total charges

NOTE: Individuals may allege multiple types of discrimination in one charge filing, thus the percentage of total charges will add up to more than 100%.

Additionally, there were 13,566 sexual harassment charge filings and 4,649 pregnancy discrimination charge filings with EEOC offices as well as state and local fair employment practices agencies in FY 2003. Approximately 20% of charges filed with EEOC offices resulted in a "merit resolution" with a favorable outcome for the charging party; 63% were deemed to have "no reasonable cause" (no merit); and 17% of charges resulted in "administrative closures" (such as failure to locate the charging party, no statutory jurisdiction, and other administrative reasons).

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 marks its 40th anniversary in 2004.  View a comparison of the last ten years of EEOC charge statistics at the EEOC web site.

Jackson Lewis attorneys regularly defend employers against charges of discrimination filed with the EEOC and state and local fair employment practice agencies.  

©2004 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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