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Private sector discrimination charge filings were up 9% in 2007 compared with the previous year, which is the highest volume of incoming charges since 2002 and the largest annual increase since the early 1990s, according to statistics released by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Discrimination filings totaled 82,792. Last year, for the first time, retaliation was the second-highest charge category, surpassing sex-based charges. Race was the most frequently filed charge, as it has since the EEOC became operational in 1965. Sexual harassment filings increased for the first time since fiscal year 2000, numbering 12,510, which is up 4% from the previous fiscal year. A record 16% of sexual harassment charges were filed by men. The EEOC recovered $345 million in monetary relief for job bias victims. “Corporate America needs to do a better job of proactively preventing discrimination and addressing complaints promptly and effectively,” said Commission Chair Naomi C. Earp. “To ensure that equality of opportunity becomes a reality in the 21st century workplace, employers need to place a premium on fostering inclusive and discrimination-free work environments for all individuals.”

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