11-28-11; EEOC Intake, Relief Obtained and Charges Resolved Hit Record Highs in 2011—please consider KC&A to defend your company in EPLI claims at hourly rates that are lower than you might expect

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) finished it fiscal year 2011 with a ten percent decrease in its pending charge inventory—this is the first such reduction since 2002 and achieved the highest ever monetary amounts through administrative enforcement, and received a record number of charges of discrimination, the agency reported in its annual Performance and Accountability Report filed today. Under the current administration, they have the funding and drive to punish/penalize U.S. business whenever possible.

The EEOC received a record 99,947 charges of discrimination in fiscal year 2011, which ended Sept. 30, 2011. This is the highest number of charges in the agency’s 46-year history. At the same time, EEOC staff also delivered administrative enforcement—they obtained more than $364.6 million in monetary benefits for victims of workplace discrimination. This is also the highest level obtained in the Commission’s history. Their fiscal year ended with 78,136 pending charges—a decrease of 8,202 charges, or ten percent. In previous years, the pending inventory had increased as staffing declined 30 percent between fiscal years 2000 and 2008. Due to EEOC’s enforcement programs in both the private and federal sectors, 5.4 million individuals benefitted from changes in employment policies or practices in their workplace during the past fiscal year.

The agency continued to build a national systemic enforcement program. At the end of the fiscal year, there were 580 systemic investigations involving more than 2,000 charges under way. EEOC field legal units filed 261 lawsuits—23 of which involved systemic allegations affecting large numbers of people; 61 had multiple victims (less than 20); and 177 were individual lawsuits.

The EEOC’s private sector national mediation program also achieved historic highs, obtaining more than $170 million in monetary benefits for complainants, and securing the highest number of resolutions in the history of the program—9,831.

At Keefe, Campbell & Associates, we are proud to advise our clients we have a strong focus on defending your rights before the growing imprimatur of this federal agency and its Illinois counterpart, the Illinois Department of Human Rights. What we see over and over are companies who hire very expensive corporate counsels at rates from $350-1,000+ per hour. Those defense attorneys run up a monster bill and then tell you to settle the dispute for a fraction of the legal fees they have already charged you.

In contrast, our hourly billing is at rates under $200 per hour and we get right to the point—our goal is to find out what, if anything, went wrong and how to fix it. We don’t need to take statements and depose everyone in your company for every imagined slight. We don’t run up massive bills and then tell you there is a problem and you need to settle. We will also do everything to use our experience and expertise to assist you to avoid claims in the future.

Please feel happy to reply or contact Gene Keefe at ekeefe@keefe-law.com to set up a meeting and discuss your overall EPLI or employment practices defense program at any time.