According to the EEOC discrimination complaints surged in 2007. Discrimination complaints against private employers were up 9% over 2006. Race discrimination, retaliation, and sex discrimination led the field.
The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported that 82,792 complaints were filed in 2007, up from 75,768 in 2006. That is the highest number of complaints since 2002 and the biggest year-over-year increase since 1993.
Race discrimination complaints accounted for 30,510 of the filings, or 37%. For the first time retaliation complaints accounted for the second highest number of filings, at 26,663. Retaliation complaints are up 18% since 2006. Sex discrimination complaints accounted for 24,826 filings.
And in a surprise to those unfamiliar with how pregnant women are treated in the workplace, pregnancy discrimination complaints are at a record level. Many people are unaware it is illegal for employers to discriminate against pregnant women. Unfortunately, according to these numbers, pregnancy discrimination continues. On the other hand, the number of filings proves that women are more informed about their protections then ever before. Even better, women are refusing to be treated poorly because they choose to have a child.
Many employers count on employees being intimidated and unfamiliar with their rights under federal law. But hundreds of thousands of employees are deciding to assert their rights and object to illegal treatment. Remember that if an employer is treating you illegally, you aren’t alone. And you don’t have to suffer silently. All you have to do is ask for help.