Given the rise of the stock market in the last year and general positive economic mood, the reduction in the number of charges reported from 2016-2017 largely makes sense. However, at the same time, the country is seeing an extremely polarized political climate and heightened awareness of discrimination and harassment. With that background, it is unlikely that the number will continue to plummet, and doubtful it will go back to the floor seen in 2005-2006. Time will tell.
With respect to the specific types of charges, the trends have not changed dramatically. Retaliation remains the most frequently filed claim – a position it has occupied unchallenged since 2009. The next most commonly asserted claims have held their positions: race claims being the most commonly filed discrimination claim, followed by disability, sex, and then age: Once again, the numbers show that while employers obviously must remain vigilant with respect to preventing all forms of discrimination and harassment in the workplace, they should be particularly careful with respect to addressing and curbing retaliation. Employers should make sure that they have mechanisms in place to report not only discrimination and harassment but also retaliation claims, and that they take appropriate steps to follow through on any such complaints.