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EEOC Charges for Retaliation Rose Three Percent in 2011

In a report released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claims of employer retaliation rose 3 percent in the fiscal year 2011. Other claims of employment discrimination and wrongful termination remained substantially similar to the 2010 numbers, the agency reported, although the slight increase made 2011 a record year for EEOC charges.

Total charges in 2011 were 99,947, up slightly from 99,922 in 2010. Retaliation charges were the most commonly charged claim by the EEOC in 2011. This is the second year that retaliation topped the list of charges.

Employer retaliation is a claim that an employer takes adverse employment action against an employee who has reported discrimination, sexual harassment or fraud within the company. Retaliation, in practice, can take many forms, but employees should understand that if their employer takes action to demote or fail to promote an employee for unlawful reasons, the employee can seek recourse through the EEOC.

After the retaliation charges, sex discrimination charges and then disability discrimination charges were the second and third most common EEOC charges. The EEOC also reported that it secured a record amount of compensation through litigation and mediation, topping out at $455.6 million. In 2010, the agency secured only $51 million for employees.

Source: Business Insurance, “EEOC says retaliation tops charge list,” Judy Greenwald, 1/29/2012

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