The EEOC reported some time ago that it had received a record number charges of discrimination for the fiscal year ending 2011 – almost 100,000 nationwide.  The EEOC has just released a report breaking down these charges by number and percentage state by state, and by nature of charge, giving us a good picture of which charges are increasing and which are decreasing, and providing bloggers and pundits with a good platform to speculate wildly but authoritatively about the reasons.

Lets take two states and compare them – New York and New Jersey.

New York’s total number of filings with the EEOC increased over the last three years from 3.8% of the total number of US filings to 4.4%, while New Jersey’s filings went down from 1.8% to 1.5%.   What is the reason for this difference in trending?  I have no idea.   Could be that the relevant state agency is New Jersey is more active or employee friendly and therefore receives a greater percentage of charges within the state, or it could be just a statistical anomaly. Or it could be that New Jersey employers are better trained and utilize best practices more often, which might be accounted for by the excellent legal services provided to these employers by my colleagues across the big river.

Lets compare the types of charges filed.  Charges of sex discrimination made up 32.4% of the filings in New York, while only 28.1% in New Jersey.  However, charges of race discrimination made up only 29.3% of the filings in New York, while in New Jersey the number was 32.5%.

Retaliation claims in New York made up 40.5% of the charges filed, while in New Jersey, they made up only 27.9%.  This disparity is pretty wide, and unexplainable to me at this point, (Note: the EEOC explained in its report that the numbers add up to more than 100% because many people file charges based upon multiple types of discrimination).

Oh, and GINA charges were zero in both states last year.

The state-by-state report makes generally boring reading, but see for yourself.