The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released its fiscal year 2021 Performance Report and Enforcement and Litigation Statistics. This data, ranging from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021, shines a light on the agency’s annual performance and how organizations were affected by workplace misconduct through the pandemic and beyond. As our team at Work Shield continues with our mission to make workspaces safer places from top to bottom, it’s worth reviewing the agency’s enforcement efforts toward equal opportunity in our nation’s workplaces to gain better insight as employers continue forward in 2022.
The past year surfaced many key results, so we’re highlighting three notable findings that all employers should be aware of as well as top takeaways from our internal Work Shield annual analysis.
EEOC Performance Takeaways
Charges by State: It’s important to note the states that received the highest number of filed charges by claimants. According to the 2021 Annual Performance Report, Texas topped the list with 6,508 and 9.6% of U.S. charges filed. At Work Shield, we call Texas home, which is why this metric is so important in our mission to change the way organizations view misconduct in not only our home state but across the country. Florida fell in second place with 4,941, and Pennsylvania ranked third with 3,960 charges filed.
Increase in Pending Charges and Monetary Resolutions: While the EEOC saw a 9.1% decrease in charge receipts from 2020 to 2021, there was an increase in both the pending charge inventory and monetary resolutions of charges. Although there were less new charges, the number of pending charges upticked to 42,811 in 2021 from 41,951 in 2020. Additionally, monetary resolutions of charges through methods such as mediation and settlement spiked in 2021 to $350.7 million, which may be attributed to the use of virtual mediation practices due to the pandemic. Through these technology solutions, there was a 6% increase in private sector mediations and a $20 million annual increase in recovery to claimants.
Retaliation Claims are at the Top: The Commission files charges by claim type, which includes age, color, disability, national origin, race, religion and more. Among last year’s list of charges by claim type, retaliation was the most frequently filed claim. As we review the staggering number of 34,332 charges that included a retaliation claim, we are reminded that these claims are all humans with voices who should have been heard without fear of retaliation.
Work Shield Performance Takeaways
Top Incidents: Last year, we recorded workplace misconduct incidents involving age, disability, gender, national origin as well as other incident types. Workplace bullying ranked as the number one incident at 168 reports filed, and although this unwanted behavior in the workplace is unacceptable, we’re proud to provide a safe reporting platform where employees spoke up and were heard regarding bullying. Also to note, our team recorded only one incident under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), while the EEOC received 22,843 receipts with over $122 million in monetary compensation. Additionally, the state of Texas received more than 500 sexual harassment charges, while our team efficiently managed 110 sexual harassment workplace incident reports.
Low Retaliation Reported: All employees should have the freedom to speak up without the fear of retaliation. With the instilled confidence and safety of reporting workplace misconduct to Work Shield’s trusted, unbiased team, we recorded only one incident involving a retaliation in 2021. On the other hand, the over 34,000 retaliation-based discrimination claims by the EEOC had a total monetary benefit of $220 million, proving just how costly these claims can be for workplaces.
As we continue partnering with organizations to cultivate healthier workplaces where all employees’ voices are heard, it’s crucial to draw insight from the EEOC’s annual Performance Reports. The increase in the Commission’s 2021 pending charges is just one indicator of how critical it is that workplace incidents are resolved efficiently and quickly, and at Work Shield, the timeline to fair resolution beats the national average at around five business days. From the millions of dollars spent in national resolutions to retaliation being the most frequently filed claim, it’s clear that Work Shield is the smart solution to mitigate organizational risk and offer both employers and employees peace of mind.