CHRO RELEASES 2016-2017 STATISTICS
The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) recently released its 2016-2017 statistics. The CHRO is the state agency tasked with eliminating discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and credit transactions. The 2016-17 statistics show a drop in the number of discrimination complaints for the first time in several years.
The CHRO received a total of 2376 in fiscal year 2016-2017, down from 2616 complaints in 2015-16. Of those 2376 complaints, 1963 alleged discrimination in employment, 217 in housing, 181 in public accommodations, 0 in credit transactions, and 15 in “other” (i.e., complaints that are not readily classified as one of the other categories). When compared with the previous year, the 2016-2017 statistics show a reduction in the number of complaints in the three major areas: employment, housing, and public accommodations.
Between 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, there were significant drops in most types of discrimination complaints. Most notably, there were less complaints regarding age (from 579 to 474), color (from 565 to 481), national origin (from 273 to 261), physical disability (from 633 to 570), race (from 744 to 662), religion (from 101 to 71), sex (from 578 to 566), and sexual orientation (from 80 to 72). In addition, the number of retaliation claims filed in 2016-2017 was 722, compared to 796 in the previous year.
Interestingly, the number of sexual harassment complaints rose, albeit modestly, from 135 in 2015-2016 to 145 in 2016-2017. The significance of this increase is unclear; it is only a slight increase and it follows several years of reductions in the number of sexual harassment complaints. However, with the recent bombshell allegations, ranging from sexual harassment to sexual assault, against powerful men in Hollywood, one cannot help but wonder if the number of sexual harassment complaints will continue to rise.