Workplace Discrimination Complaints at High Levels

Workplace discrimination complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are at the second-highest level in its history.   For FY 2009 (which ended Sept. 30, 2009), total complaints numbered 93,277.  

Retaliation, race and sex continued to be the top three most frequent types of discrimination complaints as they have been over the past decade.   Retaliation and race had almost matching numbers in 2009, each accounting for 36% of the charges filed with EEOC (retaliation 33,613 complaints and race 33,579 complaints).    

The breakdown of the next most frequent complaints includes sex discrimination at 30%, age discrimination at 24.4% and disability discrimination at 23%.

Complaints in several categories increased over the last year, including disability up 10%, national origin up 5%, and religious discrimination up 3%.  

Other types of employment discrimination prohibited by labor laws enforced by EEOC include:

  • genetic information (the nation’s newest anti-discrimination law),
  • equal compensation,
  • pregnancy and
  • sexual harassment.  

To view a complete chart of the EEOC Charge Statistics FY 1997 through FY 2009, go to  

The latest version of the federal EEO poster “Equal Employment Opportunity Is the Law” has a date of 11/09 and includes new information about the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).   This poster is required for employers with 15 or more employees.  

If you need to update your federal labor law poster or have questions about labor law poster requirements go to or call Poster Compliance Center at 1-800-322-3636.