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Record Charges

The number of discrimination charges reached a record high last year, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a government agency that investigates discrimination charges on the basis of race, sex, national origin, religion, retaliation, age, disability, and genetic information. Total charges filed with the EEOC in fiscal 2010 increased about 7.1 percent year on year, to 99,922, and resulted in 20,149 "merit resolutions," or closures with a favorable outcome for employees (suggesting at least some merit to the charge). Disability discrimination charges increased the most, 17.3 percent, followed by religion at 11.9 percent. The most common claim was retaliation—such as firing, demoting, or harassing employees after they complain about discrimination—followed by race and sex-based discrimination.

Texas, the second-most populous state in the U.S., had the most merit resolutions, followed by California and Florida. While large states often had more merit resolutions, they did not always increase with population. Some small states such as Arkansas and Mississippi also had high numbers of merit resolutions.

Click here to see which states had the highest rates of workplace discrimination, based on merit resolutions with private employers, and state and local government employers.
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