Retaliation Tops Federal Sector Bias Complaints

07.12.2011
HR & Safety

Federal employees and applicants filed 17,583 complaints of employment discrimination during fiscal year 2010, a 75% increase over the previous year, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Annual Report on the Federal Workforce.

As with private sector charges of discrimination, retaliation was the most common allegation, with a 2.7% increase over the prior fiscal year. Age and race discrimination were the next most frequently alleged bases and each registered 5.1% increases.

Unlike in the private sector, where the EEOC investigates and processes charges of discrimination, federal agencies are responsible for handling complaints of discrimination filed against them. The average processing time for conducting investigations dropped from 185 days in FY 2009 to 181 days in FY 2010; however, the average processing time for closing complaints increased from 344 days to 360 days. Of the 7,053 cases closed on the merits, 3.3% resulted in findings of unlawful discrimination. Additionally, the parties entered into settlements in 3,623 complaints or 21.2% of the total complaint closures.

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