EEOC Conciliation Obligations to be Decided by Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in in Mach Mining v. EEOC (S.Ct. 2015).  At issue is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) obligation to resolve administrative complaints of discrimination filed under its jurisdiction, which includes civil rights statutes such as Title VII.  Historically, the EEOC has exercised agency discretion in deciding the extent of effort and resources to devote to the investigation and resolution of any individual charge.  The employer in Mach Mining asserts that, as a prerequisite to litigation, the EEOC must satisfy a statutory obligation to mediate and resolve disputes.  To enforce this obligation, Mach Mining contends that EEOC’s conciliation efforts are subject to judicial review.  Should the Court should decide that judicial oversight is permissible, it then will have to define the standard of review to be applied in such cases.