Commission Approves Changes to Litigation Delegation and Amicus Curiae Approval Process

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) approved yesterday a Resolution Concerning the Commission’s Authority to Commence or Intervene in Litigation, and Revised Procedures for Commission Approval of Amicus Curiae Participation. The litigation delegation was approved by a 3-2 vote, and the amicus curiae revisions by a 5-0 vote.  

Pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Congress gave the Commission authority to commence or intervene in litigation against private sector employers to enforce the nation's employment discrimination laws, and to the Commission's General Counsel the responsibility to conduct such litigation. The revised litigation delegation, last modified in March 2020, maintains the categories of litigation which must be approved by the Commission, including cases where the Commission has taken a position contrary to the precedent in the Circuit in which it will be filed, cases where the General Counsel proposes to take a position contrary to the precedent in the Circuit where it will be filed, and cases the General Counsel believes are appropriate for Commission approval. 

For cases that do not fall under any of the identified categories, the revised delegation requires the General Counsel to transmit the case to all Commissioners for a five business-day review period, during which a majority of Commissioners can decide that the case should be submitted for a vote before it can be filed. For more information, see the “What You Should Know” document.

The Commission also unanimously approved revised procedures to consider and approve amicus curiae recommendations submitted by the Office of General Counsel.   

“I believe the amicus procedures adopted today will serve to elevate the significance of the Commission’s decision to weigh in on any particular case, and that the unanimous vote in favor of these procedures reflects the Commission’s bipartisan commitment to maintaining excellence in our highly regarded amicus program,” said EEOC Chair Janet Dhillon.   

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.    

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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