Wednesday, May 23, 2012

EEOC Charges: A State-by-State Comparison

EeocThe EEOC has released a chart showing the number and types of EEOC charges filed by state.  Texas is #1.  Michael Maslanka (a partner in the Dallas office of Constangy) over at Work Matters has a theory about why this is so:

My take is brute numbers. Our state has 25 million citizens. That's a lot. And the trend will continue, with the state growing to 35 million to 45 million by 2040. (I suspect that California is third because lawyers may prefer to sue under more favorable state law, so there they file complaints with the state agency, not the federal one.)

But David Foley at LaborRelated has calculated the number of charges filed per capita.  His map and chart indicaste that Alabama leads the pack, followed by Mississippi -- and that 6/7 "leading" states are in the Deep South.  By contrast, Vermont, Maine, and Montana have a disproportionately small number of charges per capita.


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I wonder if the numbers include charges filed originally with state deferral agencies as that may explain the disproportionately low numbers in some states. Massachusettes (459 charge) for example has a very robust deferral agency in MCAD, whereas North Carolina (4,918 charges) lacks a deferral agency. Having regularly handled charges with MCAD, Mass EEOC, and NC EEOC (among others) before leaving practice, I find it very hard to believe that MA really has 1/10 of the discrimination charges that NC has.

Posted by: Brian Clarke | May 23, 2012 12:54:38 PM

I think the agency issue is key, as is state law. Alabama and Mississippi not only lack state agencies, they don't prohibit discrimination by private employers at all.

Posted by: Marcia | May 24, 2012 2:49:52 PM

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