Monday, June 30, 2014

Supreme Court Grants Cert. On Whether EEOC's Conciliation Efforts Can Be Reviewed

The U.S. Supreme Court today granted certiorari in Mach Mining, LLC v. E.E.O.C. (Docket No. 13-1019, cert. granted 6/30/2014) (Order List.) The case is one involving alleged gender discrimination-- refusal to hire a woman as a coal miner.  The issue presented, however, will impact religious discrimination claims filed with the EEOC as well.  In the case, the 7th Circuit (full opinion) held that an employer sued by the EEOC for employment discrimination cannot raise as an affirmative defense the EEOC's failure to first engage in conciliation as required by 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(b). The Petition for Certiorari (full text) asserts that the 7th Circuit's decision exacerbated an already exiting conflict among circuits "over whether and how Title VII’s conciliation obligation may be enforced in court."