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Retaliation Claims Top EEOC's List in 2014

Claims of retaliation by an employer against an employee for pursuing discrimination claims are number one on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “hit parade”, according to statistics released by the EEOC for the federal fiscal year ending September 30, 2014. Although these statistics reflect charges filed in the private sector, data for public-sector charges would be expected to be similar.

More than 2 in 5 of the charges received by the EEOC in 2014 (42.8 percent) alleged some form of retaliation and for the fifth year running, retribution accounted for the largest percentage of all discrimination charges, outdistancing race, sex, age and disability discrimination. And the 2013/14 statistics for Arizona are similar to the national number, with 45.6% of all charges filed with the EEOC in Arizona alleging retaliation.

Nationally, charges of retaliation overtook race as the most frequently filed charge in fiscal year 2010, thus establishing the four-year trend. Since it’s not uncommon for an individual to make multiple allegations when filing a charge with the EEOC, retaliation charges can also include allegations of discrimination based on other factors as well.

The strong message to our AMRRP Members is to make sure supervisors and managers are aware of their actions and what they say to or about employees who file discrimination complaints with the EEOC (or the Arizona Civil Rights Division). Exposure risk includes turning a charge that has absolutely no basis in fact into a valid retaliation case based on saying or doing the wrong thing. The Pool's Personnel Assistance Lifeline (PAL) program is always available to assist Members with employment-related questions, and our EEOC/ACRD response program provides for specialized legal counsel to develop the required employer answers to discrimination charges.

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