Retaliation Most Frequently Filed Workplace Discrimination Charge in 2018 

Retaliation was the most frequently filed workplace discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) last year across the country. Of the 76,418 charges received nationally by the EEOC, more than half (39,469) claimed retaliation. 

Data on this and other charge receipts were released in the agency’s enforcement and litigation report for fiscal year 2018 (October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018). Overall, total charges were 9% lower than last year and in fact the lowest since 2006. Hawaii charge receipts were 254, down 14% from last year. 

Going against the trend, however, was an increase in sexual harassment charges, with the EEOC receiving more than 7,600 sexual harassment charges, a 14% percent increase from 2017, reflecting the strength of the #MeToo movement. In Hawaii, a total of 52 sexual harassment claims were filed, an 11% increase over 2017. 

The breakdown on 2018 Hawaii charge receipts by type of discrimination is as follows: 

Hawaii 2018 Discrimination Charges
Type of discrimination
# of charges
Change from
  Race 68 -15
  Sex 97 +4
  National Origin 40 -7
  Religion 10 +4
  Color 18 +5
  Retaliation (all) 141 -10
  Retaliation (Title VII) 105 -4
  Age 76 +10
  Disability 82 -28
  Equal Pay Act 4 +1
  GINA 1 0
  Total state charges* 254 -40

*Reflects the number of individual charge filings, which often claim multiple types of discrimination; as a result, the number of total charges for any given fiscal year will be less than the total of the types of discrimination listed