Top Workplace Discrimination Charges in California for 2016


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released its 2016 enforcement and litigation data. During fiscal year 2016, the agency secured more than $482.1 million for workers who were subjected to discrimination in private, state and local government, and federal workplaces.

The agency also released the number of discrimination charges it received by state. Of the 91,503 nationwide charges in 2016, 5,870 of them were filed in California alone.

Workplace Retaliation Charges Top List of EEOC Claims in 2016

This is the second year in a row that the overall number of claims filed with the EEOC has increased, with workplace retaliation charges topping the list once again nationwide (39,757 claims) and in California (2,937 claims). Retaliation charges in the Golden State made up half of all state charges filed with the EEOC in 2016 despite California’s tough anti-retaliation laws. Disability discrimination and race discrimination amounted to a startling number of claims in California, as well with a total of 3,817 charges filed just last year.

2016 EEOC Workplace Discrimination Charge Statistics for California

Here is a detailed breakdown of EEOC charge statistics filed in California for fiscal year 2016 (in descending order):

  • Total Charges: 5,870 (6.4 percent of U.S. total charges)*
  • Retaliation: 2,937 (7.0 percent of U.S. retaliation charges, 50 percent of total state charges)
  • Disability: 1,912 (6.8 percent of U.S. disability charges, 32.6 percent of total state charges)
  • Race: 1,905 (5.9 percent of U.S. race charges, 32.5 percent of total state charges)
  • Sex: 1,560 (5.8 percent of U.S. sex charges, 26.6 percent of total state charges)
  • Age: 1,517 (7.3 percent of U.S. age charge, 25.8 percent of total state charges)
  • National Origin: 930 (9.5 percent of U.S. national origin charges, 15.8 percent of total state charges)
  • Religion: 274 (7.2 percent of U.S. religion charges, 4.7 percent of total state charges)
  • Color: 192 (6.2 percent of total U.S. color charges, 3.3 percent of total state charges)
  • Equal Pay Act: 99 (9.2 percent of U.S. EPA charges, 1.7 percent of total state charges)
  • Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act: 24 (10.1 percent of U.S. GINA charges, 0.4 percent of total state charges)

*The total number of charges reflects the number of individual charge filings. Some charges claim multiple types of discrimination.

While the total number of EEOC charges filed in California decreased 5.6 percent in 2016, it is important to know that some employees working in California are also able to file workplace discrimination and harassment claims with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

View the EEOC’s Full FY 2016 Performance and Accountability Report here:

View EEOC 2016 Charge Statistics by State here:

File a Workplace Discrimination Claim with the EEOC in California

If you are experiencing workplace discrimination or harassment in California, it is important to consult an expert California employment attorney who can help you file a claim with the EEOC or DFEH. Contact our passionate Los Angeles employment lawyers at Hennig Ruiz for a free consultation today.