Limited Review Available on Adequacy of EEOC’s Conciliation Efforts, U.S. Supreme Court Declares

Employers can go to court to challenge the adequacy of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s conciliation efforts, but they shouldn’t expect a deep review by the court. That’s the gist of a ruling today by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court’s unanimous decision involves a lawsuit that the EEOC filed against Mach Mining in September 2011. The commission charged that the company violated Title VII by failing to hire any female miners since beginning operations in 2006, despite having received applications from many highly qualified women.

In a 9-0 ruling, the justices ruled that courts have the authority to review the commission’s conciliation efforts.

However, that review can’t go any further than determining whether the EEOC met its obligation under the statute to give the employer notice of the charge and an opportunity to achieve voluntary compliance.

The notice must describe the employer’s alleged violation of the statute and which employee or employees have suffered from the violation, the court ruled. And the EEOC must engage in a discussion to give the employer the opportunity to remedy the alleged violation.

So the remedy for not conciliation adequately is more conciliation.

Here’s the EEOC’s statement on the ruling, which it termed a win for employment discrimination victims.

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