Last week, I publicized the release of federal court statistics; that story has now been picked up by the American Lawyer which crunches the numbers in more detail

But now you can break out your abacus again. The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities has also just released their annual repcourtesy morgue file "abacus"ort (available for download here) which contains all sorts of notable numbers, statistics and factoids. Over the next few days, we’ll slice and dice some of the numbers to see what trends can be glistened.  For some background, you can view my post analyzing last year’s numbers here. 

Here are some of the top-level observations:

  • Consistent with the trend at the EEOC this year, employment claims filed with the CHRO are up for the 2007-2008 fiscal year ending June 30, 2008.  Specifically, claims are up to 1814, from 1743 for the year ending June 30, 2007 – an increase of about 5 percent.  Not a huge jump, but still notable. However, claims are still way down compared with 5 years ago (when they topped out at 2211).
  • Retaliation claims are up substantially over the last year. Specifically, claims for 2007-2008 were 618, compared with 507 in 2006-2007 — an increase of over 20 percent.  Also notable, retaliation claims continue to make up a large percentage of the claims being filed.
  • "Harassment" and "Sexual Harassment" claims are also up substantially from last year’s numbers. For sexual harassment claims, this reverses a trend of decreased numbers that had existed for the last several years.

For employers, what is the immediate takeaway from these statistics? 

These statistics show that after years of decreases in the numbers of employment claims, those decreases have come to an end.  Being vigilant about human resources policies and procedures, and sensitive to the issues relating to various employment laws will be one way to reduce the risk that a claim filed will turn into a substantial issue down the road.