Supreme Court Adds Burden to Title VII Defense

On June 3, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that if employers wish to challenge a claim brought by a plaintiff alleging a violation of Title VII that was not part of the EEOC charge, they must act promptly to assert the defense that the claim is invalid. If the employer fails to challenge the claim at the outset for failing to exhaust administrative remedies by not observing the charge-filing requirement, an accused employer will waive this defense.

The High Court resolved a split among the Circuit Courts by ruling that the charge-filing requirement is not “jurisdictional,” but merely “procedural.” Failure to follow a “jurisdictional” requirement would permit an accused party to successfully challenge a claim at any time.

To read this case, Fort Bend County v. Davis, click here.