Complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in fiscal 2009 fell to 93,277, but that was still the second highest total ever. In addition, the agency obtained $376 million in relief for complainants.

Topping the list were charges alleging discrimination based on race (36 percent), followed by retaliation (also 36 percent) and then sex-based discrimination (30 percent). Charges involving age bias reached the second highest level ever, while complaints alleging discrimination based on disability, religion and/or national origin hit their highest levels ever.

"The latest data tells us that, as the first decade of the 21st century comes to a close, the Commission’s work is far from finished," said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. "Equal employment opportunity remains elusive for far too many workers, and the Commission will continue to fight for their rights. Employers must step up their efforts to foster discrimination-free and inclusive workplaces, or risk enforcement and litigation by the EEOC."