Practice Areas

Your Government at Work

March 2014

By: Walter J. Liszka, Esq.

With the fiscal year of the United States Government ending as of September 30, 2013, various government agencies have issued their "Fiscal Year Reports" with regard to what they have been able to accomplish during Fiscal 2013. Two of the most important agencies as far as their effect on business entities are the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (WHD).

With regard to the EEOC, they indicate that during Fiscal 2013, they received a total of 93,727 Charges of Discrimination in the private sector and, during that same time period, were able to resolve a total of 97,252 charges. Obviously, the "difference in numbers" represents charges that were in existence and filed with the EEOC prior to the commencement of Fiscal 2013. It should also be noted that the EEOC's Performance and Accountability Report for Fiscal 2013 indicates that the EEOC was able to obtain $372.1 million in relief from private companies through administrative enforcement activities including litigation, mediation, settlement, and conciliation. This figure represents approximately a $6.7 million increase over the last fiscal year (Fiscal 2012) which was in itself a record breaking number at approximately 365.2. These "EEOC benefit recoveries" were obtained for more than 70,522 people. It should be noted that in Fiscal 2013, the EEOC was focused on systemic investigations and, based on their Report, in these systemic investigations, there were a total of 63 settlements or conciliation agreements that recovered approximately $40 million of the previously referenced $372.1 million.

With regard to the WHD enforcement ending as of September 30, 2013, the Wage and Hour Division was able to recover $249,954,412 in back wages that impacted more than 269,000 workers. The WHD since approximately the beginning of Fiscal 2009 has been able to close 145,884 cases nationwide which has resulted in more than $1 billion in back wages for over 1.2 million affected individuals.

Obviously, the EEOC and WHD are hard at work protecting private sector employees. There is no doubt in the writer's mind that Fiscal 2014 will continue much of the same on behalf of the EEOC and WHD.

Questions? Contact Walter J. Liszka, Managing Shareholder of Wessels Sherman's Chicago office at (312) 629-9300 or by email at waliszka@wesselssherman.com .