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Common discrimination claims in 2016

The EEOC says that it obtained $482 million in damages for victims of workplace discrimination during fiscal year 2016. Damages were sought and won for those working in both private and government workplaces at the local, state and federal level, including many in New York. The most common type of case involved employer retaliation against an employee. During 2016, there were 42,018 cases, which made up 45.9 percent of all cases heard during the year.

Claims based on race discrimination made up 35.3 percent of all charges handled by the EEOC in 2016. That made it the second-most common claim in 2016. Sex, age and disability cases all were among the five most common types of charges handled by the EEOC in 2016. They made up 29.4 percent, 22.8 percent and 30.7 percent of cases respectively during 2016.

During fiscal year 2016, $4.4 million was recovered on behalf of LGBT workers who filed sex discrimination charges. From fiscal year 2013 to fiscal year 2016, $10.8 million was recovered on behalf of these workers. The EEOC does have a mediation program through which is tries to get employers to resolve charges voluntarily. It had a success rate of over 76 percent, and it is touted as a way to resolve workplace issues while saving time and money for employers and workers alike.

Those who believe that they may be victims of discrimination in the workplace may wish to talk with an attorney. It may be possible to resolve a discrimination charge either in court or through mediation. If successful, a worker may be entitled to damages such as back pay or reinstatement if a compliant led to a worker's termination. In some cases, an individual may file discrimination charges on more than one basis.

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