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EEOC funding insufficient for number of claims

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been closing more and more employment discrimination cases without investigating them. These uninvestigated, closed cases may be more common now due to a lack of Congressional funding and simultaneous pressure to reduce the backlog of cases. Employees in New York who have experienced discrimination in the workplace might be interested in the ramifications of this trend.

In the years since 2008, the number of claims categorized as lowest priority by the EEOC has doubled. Such a categorization generally means that the agency will not conduct mediation, probes or other efforts in connection with those cases. In 2018, roughly 30% of cases were lowest priority, according to the Center for Public Integrity, which got the data via a public record request.

According to the EEOC, its efforts have been focused on cases where the agency can have the most impact on addressing and reducing workplace discrimination. In 2018, 13% of EEOC discrimination complaints resulted in settlements or another type of relief for the workers involved. For the year 2008, that figure was 18%.

The workforce in the United States has increased by 50% since 1980, but funding for the EEOC has remained flat, with increases in the budget being countered by inflation. In 2018, the EEOC received more than double the number of complaints filed almost 40 years prior, and it had only half the staff.

New York businesses are required to comply with the EEOC and various employment regulations. An attorney who is familiar with employment regulations might be able to help someone who has been discriminated against by examining the facts of the case. The attorney may draft and file legal documents with the EEOC or negotiate with the employer on the worker's behalf.

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