“98% of all statistics are made up” ~Author Unknown
On February 4, 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released its “Fiscal Year 2014 Enforcement and Litigation Data” report (“EEOC Report”). The EEOC Report, chock full of statistics regarding employment discrimination charges brought against employers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and other Federal statutes, is a statistician’s dream.
As Mark Twain reportedly said, however, “facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.” Perhaps not surprisingly then, the EEOC Report can be interpreted to contain good and bad news for employers:
Good news: The total number of discrimination charges filed against employers actually fell almost 5% in fiscal 2014 from the year prior.
Bad news: There were still 88,778 EEOC discrimination charges filed against employers in 2014. (This does not count state and local charges).
Good news: In 2014 the EEOC dismissed 65.6% of the discrimination charges during the investigation stage.
Bad news: In 2014 the EEOC recovered over $318 million from employers through its enforcement, settlement and litigation efforts.
Good news: In 2014 age discrimination charges dropped almost 20% from their peak in 2008.
Bad news: Retaliation claims reached an all time high, comprising nearly 43% of all discrimination charges.
Good news: The EEOC files suit in less than 8 percent of the cases where it believes discrimination occurred and no settlement is reached.
Bad news: The EEOC filed 133 “merits” lawsuits across the country, and claims a 90% success rate at resolving matters in district court.
Mitchell W. Quick, Attorney/Partner
Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
100 E. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202