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 Of those, 11% were settled and 6.5% were withdrawn with benefits.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.

Ask vs. Aks / Ax

On March 1, I gave a talk on deaf identity and language ideologies at Swarthmore college. During the talk, I discussed the language politics behind the pronunciation of the word "ask" in spoken American English.

The contemporary African American Vernacular English pronunciation of "ask" as "aks" or "ax" is often used as an example of bad pronunciation by prescriptive language critics.

However, the "aks/ax" form of "ask" is just as old -- if not older, than the "ask" form -- and dates back to Old English.

People have e-mailed me asking for a citation. The best source is the Oxford English Dictionary (second edition 1989) which gives these usages:

I. 1. trans. To call for, call upon (a person or thing personified) to come. Obs.a1000 Cædmon's Gen. (Gr.) 2453 [Hi] comon cor{th}rum miclum cuman acsian. 1205 LAY. 19967 He lette axien anan Men {th}at cu{edh}en hæuwen stan.2. without mention of the person asked: a. with the thing asked as an object sentence or clause (in indirect, or, less commonly, direct oration).c1000 Ags. Ps. xiv. [2] Ic ahsi{asg}e, Hwa {th}ær earda{edh}? a1038 Charter of Eanwene in Cod. Dipl. IV. 54 {Edh}á ácsode {edh}e bis~ceop hwá sceólde andswerian for his módor. c1200 ORMIN Te{ygh}{ygh} sholldenn..asskenn what he wære. a1300 Cursor M. 7887 He askes, quat was {th}at leuedi? c1305 St. Crist. 149 in E.E.P. (1862) 63 {Th}is gode man..eschte what hi wolde. c1386 CHAUCER Wife's Prol. 21, I axe, why the fyfte man Was nought housbond to the Samaritan? c1420 Avow. Arth. xxiv, Gauan asshes, ‘Is hit soe?’ 1455 E. CLERE in Four C. Eng. Lett. 5 He askid what the Princes name was. 1549 COVERDALE Erasm. Par. Rom. Prol., He axeth not whether good workes are to be done or not. 1597 SHAKES. 2 Hen. IV, III. ii. 71 May I aske, how my Lady his Wife doth? 1711 STEELE Spect. No. 454 {page}6 To ask what I wanted. Mod. Ask who it is. He asks if you are ready. I merely ask, ‘Is it true?’b. with the question expressed by a n. or pronoun: To ask a question, this, something. to ask (a horse) the question: to call upon him for a special effort.c1320 R. BRUNNE Medit. 430 Some axen questyons to do hym wrong. 1387 TREVISA Higden (1865) I. 67 {Th}re questiouns bee{th} i-axed. 1803 PEGGE Anecd. Eng. Lang. 114 A true born Londoner, Sir, of either sex, always axes question, axes pardon, and at quadrille axes leave. 1850 TENNYSON In Mem. xiv, And ask a thousand things of home. 1894 H. CUSTANCE Riding Recoll. vi. 88 Until the last ten strides, when I really asked ‘King Lud’ the question.

We can see that 'aks/ax' was a valid pronunciation from 1000 CE ("acsian") through at least 1549 CE ("He axeth"). If anyone axe, just say that no one lesser than Chaucer spelt it that way.