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EEOC files flurry of claims at end of fiscal year

September is the final month of the fiscal year for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the rest of the federal government. Therefore, there tend to be a spike of cases filed by the agency on behalf of New Jersey residents and others throughout the country. In 2017, there were 86 cases filed during the month of September, and many were claims of disability and sex discrimination. That was the largest number of cases filed at the end of a fiscal year since 2011.

Disability discrimination cases were a priority for the EEOC during this time. Specifically, it made a point to file cases related to gender-based pay disparities as well as cases involving pregnant workers. However, sex discrimination cases involving LGBT members received less attention from the EEOC during the September filing spike. Overall, there were 191 cases filed during the 2017 fiscal year, which was an increase from 86 new cases the year before.

While this number is more in line with what the EEOC had done in 2012-2015, it is still much lower than it was prior to 2012. From 1997 to 2011, there were at least 250 new cases filed per year. In 1999 alone, there were 438 cases filed against employers. Most cases that were brought against employers in September 2017 were filed under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Employees who face harassment, discrimination or retaliatory acts from an employer may have ways to hold the company liable for those acts. It may be possible to file a complaint with the EEOC or take other legal action in certain cases. Workers who may have had their rights violated may be entitled to compensation or reinstatement if they have been wrongfully terminated after making a complaint.

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