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U.S. Supreme Court Holds that the EEOC Filing Requirement is Procedural and Isn't a Jurisdiction

In Fort Bend County v. Davis, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the charge-filing precondition to suit set out in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is not a jurisdictional requirement. (See, Fort Bend County v. Davis, 587 U. S. ____ (2019).) In Davis, the employer (Fort Bend) -- years into the litigation -- sought dismissal due to the lack of federal jurisdiction because claimant had not stated a timely claim for religious discrimination in the EEOC charge. Rejecting this contention, the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII’s charge-filing requirement is not jurisdictional; it is procedural. Therefore, even though Title VII requires that a plaintiff file an administrative charge before filing a lawsuit, a case will not be dismissed unless the employer raises that objection in its Answer or by motion early in the case.

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