The EEOC recently released statistics indicating a 24% increase in race-based discrimination charges filed with the agency. In 2007, 6,977 race-based harassment charges were filed with the EEOC, up from 5,646 in 2006. That’s a 20% increase in one year and a doubling of the number of race-based charges since 1991.
A particularly alarming trend is the number of cases involving hangman’s nooses. Long viewed as symbols of racial intimidation and hatred, nooses have allegedly been re-appearing in workplaces across the country, according to the EEOC.
The EEOC has promised to deal swiftly and severely with employers it feels have permitted, or neglected to detect, nooses in the workplace. In 2007 and early 2008, the EEOC reached several six-figure settlements on behalf of employees who were purportedly subjected to hanging nooses at work. A complete run down of the settlements can be viewed by clicking the link and scrolling to the “Hostile Work Environment” section: