EEOC employment discrimination claims under the ADA - 2009 data

I've recently been looking at recent statistics issued by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) regarding Americans with Disabilities employment discrimination cases.

All charges of employment discrimination under the ADA have to be channelled through the EEOC so this data can be considered authoritative. Of course, many claims are settled even before they go to the EEOC so that data is not visible.

The data is available here:

Appalling Figures
In 2009, there were 18,776 charges of employment discrimination under the ADA that were resolved by the EEOC. Of those, 11% were settled and 6.5% were withdrawn with benefits. Not all settlements are positive for plaintiffs, but let's be optimistic and say that 100% were.

Of the mere 5.1% of cases that EEOC found reasonable cause, only 2.2% of cases were successful.

So a whopping 11+6.5+2.2 = 19.7% of cases brought before the EEOC had positive outcomes for the plaintiffs.

(The EEOC counts 22.6% as "merit resolutions," but I'm unsure how they get their data since the missing 3.1% would likely be the 3.0% of unsuccessful "reasonable cause" claims).

Or put another way, 80.3% were found for the defendants, the employers.

Put another way, only 5.1% of cases were found to have reasonable cause to go to court and the EEOC won just less than half of these, resulting in only 2.2% of cases there were actually "won" by the EEOC in litigation.

Put another way, it sucks to be disabled in the United States.

What about the big bucks won by "professional litigants?" The EEOC shows that $67.8 million in benefits were won in 2009. With a total of 2065 + 1217 + 408 = 3690 people settling or winning benefits, that's an average of just over $18,000 each.

Not enough to pay your lawyer, or even six months of wages.

Like I said, it sucks to be disabled in the United States.

Or put another way, it is great to be an employer in the United States. Plenty of workforce flexibility.

Careers: How to get into grad schools

April is the time for rain, taxes, and decline letters from grad schools. How can you improve your odds of getting into the program you want to next year?

When grad schools evaluate candidates for their masters and doctoral programs, they generally focus on things such as:
  1. Fit. Are there several faculty members or topical/regional concentrations that make you appealing to the department, and vice versa?
  2. Preparedness. Do you have field experience and know the local language, and have you taken some anthropology classes before? Why are you interested in this site and topic, and will your project have legs?
  3. Intellectual ability. This is generally gauged through the transcripts, letters, and statement of purpose.
How can you improve your strengths in each of these areas?
  1. Fit. Go through the department websites, see how the department describes itself and its topical / regional strengths. Make sure there are several faculty at differing ranks that might be interested in your work, and contact them.
  2. Preparedness. Summer field schools, MA programs, language study.
  3. Intellectual ability. Work on the statement as much as possible. Make sure your letters of recommendation are written by faculty who know you well, think positively of you, and have plenty of time to craft a good letter.

Comments and thoughts more than welcome!