The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its 2014 performance report recently with some disappointing results about how charges of discrimination (the employment discrimination complaints filed with the EEOC) resolve. Of the 88,778 private sector charges filed the EEOC “resolved” 87,442 of those charges. That does not mean a favorable result occurred for the charging party. It just means the EEOC decided whether there was probable cause to say unlawful discrimination occurred. Out of the 87,442 charges resolved, the EEOC mediated 10,221 charges and resolved 7,846 by mediation.
However, just 133 charges resulted in litigation filed by the EEOC with 105 of those brought on behalf of individuals, 11 non-systemic class suits and 17 systemic class suits. Florida employment attorney Donna Ballman calculated that the likelihood of an individual charge pursued by the EEOC into litigation at the same probability as lightning striking you. It seems you should not count on the EEOC to file an employment discrimination lawsuit for you
EEOC lawsuits in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas
I should be clear that these numbers should not be chalked up to government waste or inefficiency. The EEOC is a target for budget reductions and generally suffers treatment as an unwelcome member of the federal government. Many politicians do not want to see their donors targeted by EEOC lawsuits. Draining funding from the agency ensures a lack of lawyers able to bring suits. There has been grumbling over the past year in the House of Representatives about the EEOC’s litigation practices. Many representatives want to further cut funding to curb employment discrimination litigation. We can expect no meaningful change by the EEOC.
EEOC administrative charge in Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas
Regardless of why the EEOC fails to pursue more charges into court, you should know that filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC and Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division is a prerequisite to filing suit in state or federal court for almost all employment discrimination claims even if it is almost certain that you will be left to your own devices to follow through on your claims. The biggest danger to potential employees is not that the EEOC will not pursue your claims into court but that the defendant employer will be able to use the language in your charge of discrimination as a weapon against you in court. That is among the reasons you should hire an employment attorney before approaching the EEOC about a possible discrimination claim.