Half of EEOC Complaints by Federal Workers Involve Reprisals

Monday, 25 Aug 2014 07:05 AM

By Elliot Jager

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There were 7,457 complaints — nearly half of the 15,837 total — charging that the federal government had retaliated against workers who complained about the policies of their agency, according to a new Equal Employment Opportunity Commission report covering fiscal year 2012, The Washington Post reported.

The rest of the complaints involved age discrimination (4,915) and racial discrimination (4,042) against African Americans.

The commission conducted 10,226 investigations in FY 2012 each taking an average of 187 days. EEOC discrimination claims cost the federal government $51.4 million in FY 2012.

This figure does not include the $10.8 million awarded to complainants as a result of EEOC appellate decisions from 2011, according to The National Law Review.

The report cites examples of retaliation for opposing agency policies as including transfers, denials of promotion, and firings. It does not trace whether the original claims of wrongdoing by the complainants were corroborated, the Post reported.

Assistant EEOC director Jamie Price says most claims are filed by workers who feel they have been singled out by supervisors for "opposing an agency's discriminatory policy," via the EEOC process, the Post reported.

Overall, EEOC complaints are declining with formal protests over discrimination against black workers at their lowest point since 2010, the Post reported.

The EEOC is charged with enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against an employee or because a person complained about discrimination, according to the Law Review.

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