Yesterday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced it received 99,412 private sector workplace discrimination charges during the 2012 fiscal year.  In its  press release , the EEOC noted that while the number of charges is down slightly from last year, it recovered $365.4 million dollars for employees, the “largest amount of monetary recovery” through its administrative process.

(Side note:  We’re not sure how that’s the “largest” recovery, if EEOC recovered $404 million in 2010, but then again we’re no math major….).

For the third year in a row, retaliation claims were the most frequently filed claim (38.1%), followed by race (33.7%), sex (30.5%), and disability (26.5%).  There was a jump in sex and disability claims over last year.

A stat we found particularly interesting is that although the EEOC reduced the pending inventory of charges by 10% from the 2011 fiscal year, it still has over 70,000 cases in queue.  So, for those of you who feel like you’ve been waiting for-ev-er for a determination, don’t worry — you’re clearly not alone!

What does this mean for employers?  Be extra extra careful not to take any action that remotely resembles retaliation!  We know we say this every chance we get, but it’s SO important, and these statistics prove it.  Remember, even if the employee does not have a valid underlying claim, he/she can have a valid retaliation claim if you take adverse action after you learn of the employee’s discrimination or harassment complaint. Don’t be a statistic!