Published on January 24, 2014

EEOC focuses on systemic discrimination: Analysis

By Judy Greenwald, Crain News Service

WASHINGTON (Jan. 24, 2014) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) continues to file substantially fewer individual lawsuits as it focuses on cases that involve systemic discrimination, law firm Littler Mendelson P.C. said in an analysis.

The agency brought 131 lawsuits in fiscal year 2013 and 122 in fiscal year 2012, which compares with 250 to 336 lawsuits the federal agency filed in the previous five years, according to Littler Mendelson’s “Annual Report on EEOC Developments — Fiscal Year 2013” that it released Jan. 22.

The San Francisco-based law firm said a strategic enforcement plan approved by the agency in fiscal 2012 “affirms the EEOC’s focus on pursuing systemic cases.”

In terms of causes of action, according to the report, 51 cases involved Americans with Disabilities Act claims, 32 involved retaliation claims, 31 involved multiple claims, 30 involved sex discrimination or related harassment claims, and 18 involved racial discrimination or related harassment claims.

The largest number of lawsuits were filed in North Carolina, at 15; followed by Illinois and Maryland, with 13 each; Texas, 11; and California and Georgia, at 10 each.

The 161-page report also discusses unsettled issues involving systemic claims and class-based litigation by the EEOC; EEOC settlements; key regulatory developments; EEOC investigations and subpoena enforcement actions; and key court cases.

This report appeared in Crain’s Business Insurance magazine, a Chicago-based sister publication of Tire Business.

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