In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, individuals filed 4,302 charges of discrimination in FY2011, which amounts to 4.3% of the total number of US charges filed. As with Americans across the country, retaliation was the most popular box checked (37.2% of all charges) in Pennsylvania. However, disability was number two in PA (31.1%) versus a national average of 25.8%, which pales compared to race and sex, nationally. Rounding out the top five in PA were: (3) sex (30%); (4) race (27.3%); and (5) age (27.3%).
Across the river in New Jersey, which has two-thirds the population of PA, residents filed less than half the number of charges (1,841) with the EEOC in FY2011 as were filed in PA. The reason? I suspect it is because individuals who have claims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, which is very similar to the federal discrimination laws, do not need to file a claim with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the state’s administrative agency, before going to court. The top five boxes checked on NJ EEOC charges were: (1) retaliation (35.1%), (2) race (33.9%); (3) disability (25.8%); (4) sex (24.8%); and (5) age (23.3%).
And now, for the state of love and trust, play us out, Pearl Jam.