A recent article in Lawyers USA notes that the EEOC is falling way behind in its processing of cases. The EEOC's own numbers project a backlog of 48,000 cases in 2007. Budget reductions and a hiring freeze are the apparent culprits.
The situation has implications for the victims of discrimination, since federal anti-discrimination laws typically require that administrative remedies (that means an administrative complaint with EEOC or a coordinate state agency) be used before a complaint can be filed in federal court.
The problem is not as serious for plaintiffs in New Jersey as elsewhere since the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination does not require an initial visit to an agency before going to court. And the LAD is generally more favorable to plaintiffs than the federal laws, especially in the availability of damages, so most NJ plaintiff lawyers usually choose to file in state court under the LAD.