John A. Klassen, PA Minnesota Employment Law Attorney
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A look at the most common illegal workplace discrimination claims

When most Minnesota residents think of illegal workplace discrimination claims, they probably think that racial discrimination and gender-based discrimination are the most common claims. And, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, they are mostly right.

Like many federal organizations, the EEOC keeps track of the claims they receive. In fact, the EEOC has statistics that go all the way back to 1997. The trends show that over the 20-year period of 1997 to 2017, the total number of illegal workplace discrimination claims that the EEOC has received on a yearly basis fluctuated between 75,428 to 99,847. There has been no regular increase or decrease in the number of claims - they can fluctuate widely from year-to-year.

From the most recent statistics - from 2017 - it is clear that racial discrimination claims make up the bulk of the claims that the EEOC received. Of the 84,254 claims that the EEOC received in 2017, a whopping 28,528 were race-based discrimination claims. That amounts to nearly 34 percent of all claims. But, gender-based discrimination claims were close. There were 25,605 of these claims in 2017, which accounted for just over 30 percent of all claims. However, disability-based discrimination claims are actually the second most common claims that the EEOC received in 2017. There were 26,838 of these claims in 2017, accounting for nearly 32 percent of claims.

Beyond race, gender and disability discrimination claims, the EEOC also received claims of discrimination based on religion, national origin and age as well. The statistics for the last 20 years make it clear that illegal workplace discrimination is a problem that isn't going away any time soon.

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