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Dec
2016
6

Righting Wrongs: EEOC Announces $482M in Workplace Discrimination Compensation for FY 2016

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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its Performance and Accountability Report for fiscal year 2016. The Commission, whose mission is to “stop and remedy unlawful employment discrimination” in the workplace, secured several hundred million dollars in compensation for thousands of victims of workplace discrimination. Both public and private sector workers earned compensation:

EEOC secured more than $482.1 million for victims of discrimination in private, state and local government, and federal workplaces. This included:

• $347.9 million for victims of employment discrimination in private sector and state and local government workplaces through mediation, conciliation, and settlements;
• $52.2 million for workers harmed by discriminatory practices through litigation; and
• $82 million for federal employees and applicants. Importantly, in each of these categories, the agency obtained substantial changes to discriminatory practices to remedy violations of equal employment opportunity laws and prevent future discriminatory conduct in the workplace.

The EEOC also “secured substantial changes to discriminatory practices to remedy violations of equal employment opportunity laws and prevent future discriminatory conduct in the workplace.” The result was several million dollars in remedies and relief for workers:

EEOC helped workers obtain relief by resolving over 15,800 charges of discrimination through the agency’s administrative processes—settlements, mediations, and conciliations. This included 273 resolutions of systemic investigations, obtaining more than $20.3 million in remedies. The agency’s mediation program achieved a success rate of over 76 percent—saving time and resources for workers, their employers, and the agency.

(…) In the federal sector program, the agency resolved 6,792 hearings complaints and secured more than $76.9 million in relief for federal employees. EEOC also resolved 3,751 appeals of agency decisions, including 47.3 percent of them that were resolved within 180 days of receipt, and secured more than $5.1 million in relief.

Additionally, the EEOC made significant strides promoting equal employment opportunity compliance by way of education outreach programs:

EEOC provided training on rights and responsibilities under its statutes to more than 315,000 workers, employers, and their representatives and advocates through the agency’s outreach and education program. EEOC also revamped its Youth@ Work website to provide updated resources for America’s next generation of workers. To help small businesses, EEOC launched the online Small Business Resource Center to provide a one-stop shop to help small businesses access information about employer responsibilities.

The millions of dollars in settlements and relief signal a meaningful victory for workers of all stripes, particularly those who have been victimized by workplace discrimination. It also sends a clear message to employers who engage in discriminatory practices.

Read the full EEOC report.

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