The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) finished fiscal year 2012 with record high monetary recoveries for victims of discrimination, as well as a significant decrease in its inventory of pending cases, the agency announced in its Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) released Nov. 16.

This is the first performance report compiled under the standards of the EEOC's new Strategic Plan adopted on Feb. 22, 2012, after comprehensive review and significant public input.  The new plan took effect in March, 2012.

The Strategic Plan has three objectives: strategic law enforcement, education and outreach, and efficiently serving the public.

Under the first objective of strategic law enforcement, the EEOC secured a historic monetary recovery through is private sector administrative enforcement — $365.4 million — the highest level of monetary relief ever. Administrative enforcement includes mediation, settlements, withdrawals with benefits and conciliation.  Approximately 10 percent of this amount — $36 million — came from investigations and conciliations of systemic charges of discrimination, four times the amount received in the previous fiscal year.

Additionally, the commission recovered $44.2 million through its litigation program, as well as securing injunctive relief against discriminatory practices affecting a large number of employees.  Fully 20 percent of the cases on the agency's litigation docket were systemic cases.  Overall, there were a total of 122 lawsuits on the merits filed by commission offices nationwide.

Under the rubric of efficiently serving the public, for the second consecutive year, the pending inventory was reduced significantly.  During fiscal year 2012, the commission resolved a total of 111,139 charges, and by year end, the total number of unresolved private sector charges totaled 70,312.  From the beginning of fiscal year 2011 to the end of fiscal year 2012, the total number of unresolved charges has declined by nearly 20 percent. This reduction is notable because it occurred at a time of record charge receipts.

For the third consecutive year, the EEOC received nearly 100,000 charges of discrimination (99,412 charges in fiscal year 2012). A more detailed breakdown of the fiscal year 2012 charge receipts and litigation will be released at a later date.