Retaliation, race discrimination, and disability discrimination were the most commonly filed complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) during fiscal year 2015. While retaliation remains at the top of the list, disability charges increased by 6% from last year. In total, the agency received 89,385 private sector workplace discrimination complaints.
The laws enforced by the EEOC make it illegal for covered employers to discriminate against a job applicant or employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.
New Employment Discrimination Guidance
The EEOC has issued two new sets of guidance concerning discrimination in the workplace. The first set of guidance explains responsibilities concerning the employment of individuals who are (or are perceived to be) Muslim or Middle Eastern, including information on background checks, hiring and other employment decisions, harassment, and religious accommodations.
A separate set of guidance addresses the rights of employees with HIV/AIDS when it comes to several workplace situations, including whether an employee is allowed to keep his or her condition private, the right to a reasonable accommodation if an employee’s condition could affect his or her job performance, and whether an employee could get fired if the employer knows that he or she has HIV/AIDS.
More information about the EEOC laws is featured in our section on Discrimination.