Illinois employees might be interested to learn that workplace retaliation was once again the top charge filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission during the 2019 fiscal year, which ended in September. The agency releases a breakdown of the charges it receives annually, and retaliation also topped the list in 2018.
The EEOC reports that it received a total of 72,675 charges last year, which is a decrease from the 76,418 it received in 2018 and the 84,254 it received in 2017. Of the 2019 charges, 39,110 were for retaliation, 24,238 were for disability, 23,976 were for race and 23,532 were for sex. In addition, the agency received 15,573 age-related claims, 7,009 claims involving national origin, 3,415 claims over color discrimination, 2,725 religious discrimination claims, 1,117 claims involving equal pay and 209 claims for genetic information discrimination.
According to the agency, nearly 70% of all the charges filed fell short of proving reasonable cause. However, the charges that were determined to have merit resulted in 157 enforcement lawsuits and $346.6 million in monetary settlements. More than $205 million of that money was used to settle retaliation claims, and $68.2 million was used to settle sexual harassment claims. Of the sexual harassment claims filed in 2019, 16.8% were filed by men.
Illinois employees are protected against discrimination by federal and state laws. Individuals who experience any form of workplace discrimination or retaliation might find relief by contacting an attorney familiar with employment law. After carefully reviewing the details of the case, legal counsel may recommend filing a complaint with the EEOC. This action might result in a settlement that covers back pay, front pay, lost benefits, mental anguish and other related damages. Employees may be able to learn more about their legal rights by scheduling a consultation with an attorney.