EEOC FY 2019 Enforcement Data: Retaliation Continues to Be the Most Popular Charge

By Kathleen J. Jennings (

Today, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its FY 2019 enforcement and litigation data. As in past years, retaliation continues to be the most frequently filed charge, being alleged in over half of the charges filed.

Second place belongs to charges alleging disability discrimination. On that front, in recent years, the EEOC has been very aggressive in pursuing employers that discharge disabled employees who have exhausted FMLA and paid leave without making any effort to pursue the reasonable accommodation process.

The EEOC also states that it received 7,514 sexual harassment charges – 10.3 percent of all charges, and a 1.2 percent decrease from FY 2018. Interesting.

Specifically, the charge numbers show the following breakdowns by bases alleged, in descending order:

•    Retaliation: 39,110 (53.8 percent of all charges filed)

•    Disability: 24,238 (33.4 percent)

•    Race: 23,976 (33.0 percent)

•    Sex: 23,532 (32.4 percent)

•    Age: 15,573 (21.4 percent)

•    National Origin: 7,009 (9.6 percent)

•    Color: 3,415 (4.7 percent)

•    Religion: 2,725 (3.7 percent)

•    Equal Pay Act: 1,117 (1.5 percent)

•    Genetic Information: 209 (0.3 percent)

These percentages add up to more than 100% because some charges allege multiple bases.

And for those who are interested, the EEOC also breaks down charges filed by state.

Kathleen J. Jennings is a principal in the Atlanta office of Wimberly, Lawson, Steckel, Schneider, & Stine, P.C. She defends employers in employment matters, such as sexual harassment, discrimination, Wage and Hour, OSHA, restrictive covenants, and other employment litigation and provides training and counseling to employers in employment matters. She can be contacted at

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