As I noted on Friday, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities has, at long last, released case statistics for 2014-2015 fiscal year and has updated their statistics for the last several years.
As a result, there are lots of new numbers to pore over and information to be gleaned.
The biggest takeaway? The number of discrimination complaints filed with the agency is up — and up big over the last few years.
For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, 2482 complaints were filed state-wide, up from 2172 the year before and up from a low of 1838 just three years ago.
For those playing at home, that translates to a whopping 35% increase in discrimination complaints from FY2012 to FY2015.
Now, not all complaints filed with the CHRO are employment-related. But even those employment discrimination complaints are also up big. In FY2015, 2017 employment complaints were filed, up from 1817 the year prior and up from 1559 three years ago.
Thus, employment complaints are up 29 percent in the past three years, and up 11 percent in the last year alone.
Given the improving economy and the corresponding drop in claims at the federal level, these state statistics are pretty surprising.
Diving deeper in the numbers, raises more eyebrows. Where is this increase coming from?
- Age claims? 503 in 2014 vs. 505 in 2015. Nope.
- Sexual orientation claims? 62 in 2014 vs. 51 in 2015. A decrease.
- Sex claims? 544 in 2014 vs. 575 in 2015. A modest increase.
- Physical disability? 450 in 2014 vs. 484 in 2015. Again a modest increase.
But a few areas stand out:
- Ancestry? 133 in 2014 vs. 189 in 2015. A huge increase of 42 percent!
- Color? 409 in 2014 vs. 480 in 2015. Another big increase of over 17 percent.
- Race? 538 in 2014 vs. 596 in 2015. An increase of 11 percent, consistent with the overall trend.
- National origin? 218 in 2014 vs. 258 in 2015. A corresponding increase of over 18 percent.
Thus, while the statistics can only tell part of the story, it is apparent that claims for race, color, ancestry and national origin all account for a substantial part of the increase.
What does this mean for employers? What else can we glean from the statistics? Why are complaints going up in a relatively good economy?
I’ll tackle these questions and more in upcoming posts.