In 2018, there was an increase in the number of women's applications to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) for Labor and Social Welfare that accounted for 68% of all applications. This is evident from EEOC's annual report: 31% of women's inquiries were for workplace discrimination because of pregnancy, 10% for sex or gender discrimination and 8% for parenting discrimination.
Men's inquiries were mainly characterized by age discrimination complaints (18%), nationality (11%) and reserve service (7.2%).
Since its inception in 2008, the EEOC has received 7,639 applications - more than 750 a year. Over the past decade, about 30% of referrals were for discrimination based on pregnancy. However, from 2014, there has been a decline in the rate of these inquiries. Since 2016, there has been a trend toward rising parenting discrimination inquiries, instead.
From 2009 to 2017, there has been an upward trend in the number of sexual harassment referrals, as well, though this year was somewhat less than in the previous year.
In the last five years (2014-2018), there has been an increase in the number of Arab appeals to the EEOC. In general, over the past decade, there has been an upward trend in complaints about discrimination due to nationality.
Since 2016, there has also been an increase in the rate of workplace discrimination on the basis or origin. And in the previous year, there was also an increase in the number of age discrimination complaints.
The EEOC has the authority to take legal action in the event of discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, personal status, pregnancy, fertility treatments, parenting, age, religion, nationality and more. It is working to increase enforcement of equality laws and to promote greater diversity and inclusion in the labor market.
Attorney Mariam Kabha, national commissioner for equal employment opportunities, said that the report’s data indicates the commission’s extensive work over the past decades, both in the legal and advocacy realms. However, she noted that “the increase in the rate of referrals to the EEOC by women, Arabs and Ethiopians is a call-to-action for the EEOC and will require us to work to ensure the rights of these applicants are realized and to ensure that an open and accessible job market is available to everyone.”
Translated by Maayan Hoffman.