The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the federal agency tasked with administering and enforcing laws prohibiting workplace discrimination in Texas and around the country. To determine how common employment discrimination is and how well the EEOC’s efforts to tackle the problem have been, a team of researchers from a California law firm scrutinized data collected by the agency in 2021. The researchers discovered that retaliation is the most common form of workplace discrimination, and it is far more common in some states than in others.
The EEOC received 1,276 complaints about retaliation in 2021, 863 complaints about racial discrimination and 819 complaints about disability discrimination. The agency received an average of 2,873 employment discrimination complaints from each state, but the total number of complaints from some states was much higher. When the EEOC data was adjusted to reflect state populations, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia and Nevada emerged as the states where workers file discrimination complaints most often.
When the EEOC determines that a discrimination claim has merit, it can file lawsuits against employers. In the 2023 fiscal year, the EEOC filed 143 lawsuits against employers for violating federal employment laws. Most of these lawsuits sought relief for individuals, but 32 EEOC lawsuits were brought on behalf of multiple employees who had been treated unfairly. The EEOC data reveals that systemic employment law violations are becoming more common. The agency filed 25 lawsuits in the 2023 fiscal year that alleged systemic violations. That figure is almost twice as high as the number of systemic lawsuits filed in the 2020, 2021 or 2022 fiscal years.
Federal laws like the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibit discrimination in the workplace, and the EEOC is the federal agency that administers and enforces them. A review of EEOC data reveals that retaliation is the form of workplace discrimination that employees complain about the most.