Six months ago, one of our software engineers at Newton asked, “Why are you guys so obsessed with this EEOC/OFCCP compliance stuff? Is it that important?”
The answer was straightforward. We’d done some homework. The EEOC received more than 95,400 charges of job bias in the private sector in 2008, up 15.2 percent from 2007 and 26 percent from 2006. Given the number of layoffs, the amount of Federal stimulus pumped into the economy, the increasing diversity of the workplace and the EEOC’s new litigious administration, this is a issue facing employers of all sizes.
Last week, the 2009 EEOC report was published. They announced that 93,277 workplace discrimination charges were filed with the agency in 2009. That’s an average of nearly 256 claims filed every day. The 2009 data shows that private sector charges alleging discrimination based on disability, religion and/or national origin hit record highs while age-based charges reached the second highest level ever. You can read the entire report here: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/1-6-10.cfm
Statistics don’t generally lie, the trends are clear. And, with the appointment of Jacqueline Berrien as head of the EEOC, employers should expect a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that is much more focused on enforcement and litigation. Some experts are even concerned that her administration may push the commission further in an anti-employer direction. None of this bodes well for companies that are still ignoring EEO/ OFCCP compliance issues.