EEOC Issues FY 2014 Performance Report

On Tuesday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released its annual performance evaluation covering the prior fiscal year which ended September 30. The EEOC received 88,778 private sector charges in FY 2014, a decrease of about 5000 from the prior year. This decrease may be the result of an improving job market, resulting in fewer layoffs and terminations.

The EEOC resolved a smaller number of charges than in past years, blaming sequestration and the government shutdown for this decrease. Employers with pending EEOC charges may have noticed an increase in charge investigation and disposition time periods over the past year. The agency recovered a record $296 million in monetary compensation, including $22.5 million resulting from litigation. These increases may be attributable to more aggressive EEOC approaches toward litigation, and increased resources devoted to obtaining monetary settlements.

The EEOC reported that under its voluntary mediation program, the parties successfully resolved about 75% of all charges submitted for mediation. The EEOC also conducted a record 260 investigations of alleged systemic discrimination in FY 2014. These investigations determine whether an employer has engaged in a pattern and practice of discrimination affecting multiple applicants or employees. Thirteen percent of all lawsuits filed by the EEOC were based on systemic investigation findings.

The EEOC expressed its intent to continue this level of regulatory and litigation activity in FY 2015. Employers facing EEOC charges can expect a more vigorous level of investigation than has been the case in past years. If the EEOC determines that a claim of discrimination has merit, the chances of the agency accepting the case for litigation are higher than has historically been the case.