The EEOC recently released the latest statistics detailing the number of charges of discrimination filed in 2008. Last year marked the largest number of charges filed in a single year totaling 95,402 charges of discrimination. While every category of charges increased (and the total increased 15.2 percent over 2007), charges of age discrimination and retaliation increased the most at 28.6 and 22.6 percent respectively.
Disability discrimination claims saw the least amount of growth at 9.6 percent. However, with the passage of the ADA Amendments Act in 2008, I expect 2009 disability discrimination claims to be up sharply during 2009. Equal Pay Act claims were also up 16.6 percent and with the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, claims arising under that statute will also likely increase in 2009 and beyond. With escalating unemployment, the deepening recession, and an increase in the EEOC’s budget, I expect charge filings for 2009 will again set an all-time record for charge filings across all categories and an uptick in resulting civil rights litigation against employers.