Supreme Court Decision Affirming Judicial Right to Review EEOC Actions: The Supreme Court Holds That EEOC’s Conciliation Efforts Are Subject to Judicial Review, Albeit Narrow

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - April 30, 2015

A unanimous Supreme Court yesterday upheld the right of courts to review whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) adequately fulfilled its statutory obligation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to engage in conciliation efforts with employers before filing lawsuits against them.  In Mach Mining, LLP v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Court rejected the EEOC’s position that its conciliation efforts were unreviewable.  It then went on to consider the appropriate standard of review and crafted a narrow standard of review of its own devising, not proposed by either party.  The Court held that although some judicial review of the EEOC’s compliance with Title VII is proper, Title VII’s plain language allows only a very narrow examination of the EEOC’s decisions.