The United States EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) recently released its 2012 data, including the statistics for workplace discrimination complaints, among which New Jersey ranked 21st in the nation for workplace discrimination. According to the study, New Jersey reported 1,797 filed complaints for workplace discrimination to the U.S. EEOC. Ranking number one in the nation was Texas, with 8,929 filed complaints of discrimination in the workplace. In a situation where it is ideal to come in last, Montana’s workers filed only 13 discrimination complaints with the EEOC in 2012.
Looking further into New Jersey’s 21st ranking in workplace discrimination, the extensive research data also indicates New Jersey as ranking 19th in the nation specifically for age discrimination in employment complaints. In 2012, workers in New Jersey filed 446 complaints with the EEOC under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Once again, Texas received the most complaints for age discrimination complaints with 2,001 EEOC complaints filed. Maine proved most favorable for equal employment opportunity, at least in regards to age, with only five discrimination complaints reported.
At this point, you may be wondering what the EEOC really is and what role it plays with employment in New Jersey and elsewhere in the nation. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a national organization responsible for managing and enforcing federal laws in the workplace which prevent discrimination throughout the employment hiring process, including the hiring process, as well as the duration of the employment. Such work situations include, again, hiring, promotions, firing, harassment, wages, training, and benefits. The enforcement reach of the EEOC generally extends to employers who have at least 15 employees or in the case of age discrimination, at least 20 employees. Employment agencies and labor unions also fall into the EEOC protection and/or watchful eye.
As the federal enforcer of employment discrimination laws, the EEOC will investigate all charges or complaints of discrimination against employers who are covered by the law. Once an allegation is made, the EEOC will investigate the charges and make a determination as to whether any employee discrimination has taken place. If it has the EEOC works with the employer and employee to settle the charges and if this proves fruitless, the EEOC has the authority and leverage to file lawsuits on behalf of individuals and interests of the public.