October 08, 2009
Christina Erling
(202) 639-6419

Discrimination Complaints Up 2.4 Percent, According to EEOC

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently released its Annual Report on the Federal Work Force for 2008 and the findings were indicative of the adverse state of affairs in the federal workforce.

“This report highlights the unfortunate fact that discrimination continues to rise throughout the ranks of the federal workforce,” said the American Federation of Government Employees National Vice President for Women’s and Fair Practices Augusta Thomas. “Each case that reaches the EEOC’s doorstep likely represents thousands of Americans who may have been harmed by workplace discrimination.”

According to the report, “16,752 complaints alleging employment discrimination were filed against the federal government in FY 2008 – up 2.4 percent from the prior year. EEO complaints were filed against agencies on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability and reprisal.”

Escalating numbers of complaints further underscore the need to properly fund the EEOC. The beleaguered civil rights agency has suffered from frozen budgets, the loss of 25% of its workforce and mounting case backlogs.

“Modest increases in the FY09 and FY10 budgets have not overcome five years of level funding,” stated Thomas. “EEOC’s lack of adequate funding has resulted in an increase in the average processing time for hearings for federal government employees from FY 2007 to FY 2008. This report clearly shows the dire need to fully support the EEOC.

“EEOC leadership needs to work with AFGE and call on Congress to fully fund the agency. Its mission is critical to the federal workforce and we cannot continue down this road of mounting backlogs and months of waiting time. Discrimination is still alive and we need to do more to address it. The federal workforce deserves better,” concluded Thomas.

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