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Common reasons workers allege discrimination

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, retaliation claims are commonly filed against New York employers and others nationwide. In fiscal year 2016, there were 42,018 retaliation claims, which translated to 45.9 percent of all claims made during that period. Other claims that made the top 10 list for 2016 include those made based on sex, age or national origin.

Overall, the EEOC said that it resolved nearly 100,000 charges of employment discrimination in fiscal year 2016, and that it obtained more than $482 million in damages. Plaintiffs included employees who worked in the private sector as well as for local, state or federal government employers. In fiscal year 2016, EEOC legal representatives were able to resolve 139 lawsuits and filed another 86 discrimination cases. Of those lawsuits filed, 55 involved individuals while the other 31 involved multiple victims.

Of the money that it was able to collect for workers in fiscal year 2016, $347.9 million went to private sector workers as well as those in local and state governments. That money was obtained through settlements, mediation and conciliation. Another $52.2 million was obtained for those workers through litigation. The remaining $82 million went to federal employees and applicants who pursued workplace discrimination claims.

Those who believe that they were discriminated against by an employer may wish to talk with an attorney. Examples of discrimination may include basing a hiring or firing decision based on a worker's sexual orientation or because of his or her religious beliefs. An attorney may work to prove that an individual was discriminated against through the use of employee records or communications between an employee and a manager. If successful, a worker may be entitled to back pay, reinstatement or other relief deemed appropriate.

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