Final enforcement and litigation statistics released recently by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for Fiscal Year 2019 (October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019) show that the agency received 72,675 charges of discrimination last year, the lowest annual total in 28 years.

Continuing a trend we’ve seen over the last decade, the numbers also reveal that claims of unlawful retaliation were the most common allegation raised, with more than half of all charge filings (53.8%) asserting a retaliation claim. Charges alleging unlawful harassment made up 36.1% of all filings, for the second year in a row the second most common claim. Both retaliation and harassment can be alleged under all statutes the agency enforces.

Worth noting, race discrimination charges, which until FY 2009 were the most commonly alleged violation, dropped 2.5% from FY 2018 and fell to the fourth most commonly alleged charge in FY 2019 behind retaliation, harassment, and disability discrimination allegations.

On the litigation front, the EEOC filed 144 lawsuits on the merits, a drop of more than 25% below the 199 merits lawsuits filed in FY 2018. As has been the case for more than a decade, cases alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII) and the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) composed the vast bulk of the EEOC’s lawsuit filings.

The EEOC’s final FY 2019 enforcement and litigation data (including accompanying charts and tables) are available online.

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.