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Retaliation continued to be the most frequently filed charge of discrimination at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, accounting for 44.5% of private-sector charges filed in fiscal year 2015, the agency said Thursday.
There were 39,757 retaliation charges filed, out of a total of 89,385 received by the EEOC, a 4.7% increase over the 37,955 reported for fiscal year 2014, when retaliation was also the No. 1 charge and accounted for 42.8% of all charges, the agency said in a statement. The EEOC's fiscal year ends Sept. 30.
The EEOC is now seeking public input on proposed enforcement guidance on retaliation and related issues in an effort to update guidance last issued in 1998, the agency said last month.
The second-most frequent discrimination charge was race, which accounted for 31,027 charges, or 34.7% of the total. Other charges, and their percentage of the total, were: disability, 30.2%; sex, 29.5%; age, 22.5%; national origin, 10.6%; religion, 3.9%; color, 3.2%; the Equal Pay Act, 1.1%; and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, 0.3%.
The EEOC said it filed 142 merits lawsuits last year, a 6.8% increase from 133 in fiscal year 2014. Merits suits include lawsuits charging violations of the statutes enforced by the EEOC, and suits to enforce administrative settlements.
The EEOC said most of the lawsuits it filed alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, followed by suits under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The agency also said it resolved 92,641 charges in fiscal year 2015, and secured more than $525 million for discrimination victims in private-sector and state and local government workplaces through voluntary resolutions and litigation.