Retaliation Tops List of Employment Discrimination Complaints

office-politics2Retaliation, race discrimination, and sex discrimination were the most commonly filed complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) last year. Under the law, it is illegal to fire, demote, harass, or otherwise “retaliate” against an individual for complaining about or filing a charge of discrimination, or for participating in an employment discrimination proceeding (such as an investigation or lawsuit).

In total, the agency received 88,778 private sector workplace discrimination charges during fiscal year 2014 (which runs from October 1 to September 30). The number of charges filed decreased compared with recent fiscal years, due in part to the government shutdown during the reporting period. Termination continued to be the most frequently-cited discriminatory issue, followed by allegations of harassment (for all protected classes except race).

Employment Discrimination Laws Enforced by the EEOC

The laws enforced by the EEOC apply to employers who meet the threshold number of employees for coverage. For example:

More information about each of these laws is featured in our section on Discrimination.