EEOC Funding: A Ten Year History

As 2009 comes to a close, there is considerable discussion about the EEOC in the coming year.  In addition to the Agency's proposed regulations for ways to improve the processing of discrimination complaints, the EEOC is set to receive a substantial amount of funding in 2010.  An article appearing in the National Law Journal indicates that the EEOC is slated to receive an additional $23 million to help reduce the backlog of more than 70,000 charges.  According to the article:

  • the EEOC's backlog increased 35% from 54,970 in 2007 to 73,951 in 2008;
  • the number of complaints increased nearly 20% from 79,896 in 2007 to 95,402 in 2008;
  • nearly two-thirds of all complaints filed alleged gender or racial discrimination.
The total amount requested for Fiscal Year 2010 is $367 million.  The table below presents the enacted funding for the EEOC for the fiscal years 1997 to 2008; data was taken from the EEOC's website, and can be found here.

The total amount requested represents a 6.8% increase over the enacted funding for 2009 of $343 million.  This is more than twice the average annual increase from 1997 to 2008.  But the question still remains: will the funding be enough to clear the backlog?  Only time will tell...