U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

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Seventh Circuit holds that EEOC conciliation efforts were not judicially reviewable

December 20, 2013

The Seventh Circuit held that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) conciliation efforts were not judicially reviewable and that actually eliminating judicial review of the conciliation duty will promote conciliation.

U.S. Chamber urges court to reject EEOC’s argument that its conciliation proceedings cannot be reviewed by federal courts

August 28, 2013

The U.S. Chamber filed an amicus brief urging the Seventh Circuit to reject the position of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) that the question of whether the EEOC complied with its statutory duty to conciliate before filing suit is not reviewable by any court. Congress required the EEOC to conduct conciliation proceedings as a precondition to suing an employer under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Yet the EEOC takes the “stark and categorical”position that federal courts may never review whether the EEOC fulfilled its statutory obligation, but must instead accept the EEOC’s certification that it did so. The Chamber argued that nothing in the text or history of Title VII precludes review of EEOC's conciliation duties. As the Chamber's brief notes, “[t]o make compliance with a statute unreviewable is to make violation of that statute irremediable.” The Chamber also pointed out that no court since Title VII's enactment has adopted the EEOC’s position that judicial review is wholly prohibited. Finally, the Chamber argued that substantial policy reasons counsel in favor of reviewing the EEOC’s conciliation efforts. The Chamber highlighted the “substantial risk that judicial abdication would enable all sorts of agency shenanigans” and noted that the EEOC’s repeated violations illustrate that “EEOC self-enforcement is wholly insufficient.”

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