The EEOC has reported that a record number of job bias charges — just under 100,000 — were filed with it in 2010. In a terrible economy, that's not surprising.
Race no longer accounts for the most claims of discrimination. From the EEOC's January 11 press release:
Last year, for the first time ever, retaliation under all statutes (36,258) surpassed race (35,890) as the most frequently filed charge, while allegations based on religion (3,790), disability (25,165) and age (23,264) increased.
The brand new Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) accounted for 201 charges.
EEOC charge statistics have limited utility for New Jerseyans. Because NJ's Law Against Discrimination (LAD) is usually more favorable to plaintiffs than similar federal statutes, most plaintiff attorneys in NJ do not bother with the federal laws. As a result, they usually do not have their clients file with the EEOC before going to court.
Nonetheless, the EEOC stats may have some limited utility for New Jersey business people and their attorneys in identifying broad trends in workplace discrimination claims.