On September 30, 2013, the federal government closed its 2012 fiscal year. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has since published its charge and litigation statistics for fiscal year 2012.
Not surprisingly, the claim with the highest percentage of all charges received both in Arizona (40.40%) and Colorado (44.20%) was retaliation. This is consistent with nationwide statistics. However, both states received higher percentage of charges alleging Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations—30.30 percent in Arizona and 31.30 percent in Colorado—than the national average of 26.5 percent. ADA claims formed the basis for 29.03 percent of the lawsuits filed by the EEOC in the 2012 fiscal year. This is an increase over the 2011 fiscal year where 26.6 percent of EEOC lawsuits alleged ADA claims. You can find more statistics by clicking here.
Employers should take note of these statistics as they prepare for calendar year 2014. With the increased focus on ADA-related claims and charges, employers need to make sure they know how to deal with these issues. Have you trained your managers and supervisors in how to deal with disabilities in the workplace? Does that training address the prohibition against retaliation and what constitutes retaliation? Does your organization have appropriate policies and procedures in place to deal with accommodation of disabilities? To ensure that you are prepared for 2014, contact MSEC about training and for a review of your policies. You can also find information in the ADA toolkit at www.msec.org.