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EEOC: Disability discrimination now tops race discrimination

For the first time in U.S. history, race discrimination claims are no longer at the top of grievances filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Unfortunately, disability discrimination in the workplace moved to the top of the list of discrimination claims filed by employees in 2019, the EEOC said.

U.S. companies are failing to effectively reach out and include disabled workers, a group of human resource professionals says. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), only 13 percent of employers have inclusion initiatives that are disability-specific.

About half of all HR personnel have never received disability inclusion training, SHRM says.

"There are employers who may not be aware of their responsibility to comply with federal and state laws regarding disabilities," a SHRM spokesperson said, adding that some employers might be focused instead on sexual harassment training. "Especially in light of the #MeToo movement, and the increase in state laws which mandate such training."

According to the EEOC, retaliation is the charge most frequently filed with the federal agency, while the most frequently filed claims of discrimination revolve around disabilities, followed by discrimination on the basis of race and discrimination on the basis of gender.

Here is the list of claims by total claims and by percentage filed with the agency in fiscal year 2019:

  • Retaliation: 39,110 claims (53.8 percent of all claims filed)
  • Disability: 24,238 (33.4 percent)
  • Race: 23,976 (33.0 percent)
  • Gender: 23,532 (32.4 percent)
  • Age: 15,573 (21.4 percent)
  • National Origin: 7,009 (9.6 percent)
  • Color: 3,415 (4.7 percent)
  • Religion: 2,725 (3.7 percent)
  • Equal Pay Act: 1,117 (1.5 percent)
  • Genetic Information: 209 (0.3 percent)

The EEOC says the percentages add up to more than 100 percent because some claims allege multiple violations.

If you have experienced unlawful discrimination in a Milwaukee workplace, contact the employment law attorneys of Alan C. Olson and Associates to schedule a consultation.

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