In the 2020 fiscal year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) resolved more than 70,804 charges of workplace discrimination. Discrimination lawsuits can be very time-consuming and expensive for employers, and can result in a loss of employee morale or reputation within the community.
Top Causes of Discrimination
According to the EEOC, the following are the top 10 reasons for workplace discrimination claims in fiscal year 2020:
- Retaliation—37,632 (55.8% of all charges filed)
- Disability—24,324 (36.1%)
- Race—22,064 (32.7%)
- Sex—21,398 (31.7%)
- Age—14,183 (21.0%)
- National Origin—6,377 (9.5%)
- Color—3,562 (5.3%)
- Religion—2,404 (3.6%)
- Equal Pay Act—980 (1.5%)
- Genetic Information—440 (0.7%)
These percentages add up to more than 100% because some lawsuits were filed alleging multiple reasons for discrimination.
What Employers Should Do
Employers should take the following steps to protect themselves from retaliation and other discrimination claims:
- Audit their practices to uncover any problematic situations.
- Create a clear anti-retaliation policy that includes specific examples of what management can and cannot do when disciplining or terminating employees.
- Provide training to management and employees on anti-retaliation and other discrimination policies.
- Implement a user-friendly internal complaint procedure for employees.
- Uphold a standard of workplace civility, which can reduce retaliatory behaviors.
Information abstracted from Zywave’s “HR Insights: 2020 Top 10 Workplace Discrimination Claims” article. This HR Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice.