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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) responded to a significant increase this past fiscal year in calls, emails and online inquiries concerning potential discrimination claims and high demand for its new Respectful Workplaces Training Program, the agency reported today.

eeoc-sexual-harassment-lawsuits-on-the-riseThe increased demand is reflected in more than 554,000 calls and emails to the EEOC and more than 200,000 inquiries concerning potential discrimination claims. The launch of a nationwide online inquiry and appointment system as part of the EEOC’s Public Portal resulted in a 30 percent increase in inquiries and more than 40,000 intake interviews.

“Many people in thousands of workplaces around the country depend every day on the work of the EEOC. I am proud to say that the EEOC met the increased demand for our expertise, for information and training, and for strong enforcement to combat all forms of discrimination, including sexual harassment,” said Victoria A. Lipnic, acting chair.

Other fiscal year 2018 highlights include:

The EEOC’s outreach programs reached 398,650 individuals, providing them with information about employment discrimination and their rights and responsibilities in the workplace. To address persistent workplace harassment, the EEOC conducted more than 300 Respectful Workplaces trainings that reached over 9,800 employees and supervisors in the private, public and federal sectors.

The EEOC secured approximately $505 million and other relief for more than 67,860 victims of discrimination in the workplace. The EEOC’s legal staff resolved 141 merit lawsuits, filed 199 more in FY18, and filed 29 amicus curiae briefs on significant legal issues in employment discrimination cases.

The EEOC also made significant progress in reducing its backlogs, reporting a 19.5 percent reduction in its private sector charge backlog, a 19.4 percent reduction in the backlog of federal employee appeals, an 8.5 percent reduction in the backlog of federal employee hearings, and a 7.6 percent reduction in the backlog of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

The EEOC’s accomplishments will be detailed in the EEOC’s fiscal year 2018 “Performance and Accountability Report” that will be posted on the agency’s web site on Nov, 15, 2018.  Comprehensive enforcement and litigation statistics for fiscal year 2018 will be available on the agency’s website in early 2019.