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Fort Bend County, Texas v. Davis, No. 18-525 (June 3, 2019)

Articles Discussing Case:

State-Law Ramifications of the Supreme Court’s Decision in Fort Bend County, Texas v. Davis: Massachusetts and Rhode Island as Case Studies

Ogletree Deakins • July 09, 2019
In Fort Bend County, Texas v. Davis, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the requirement in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that an employee file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before commencing an action in court is not jurisdictional. For federal court filings, this means that employers may want to make sure to raise the defense that an employee failed to exhaust administrative remedies on his or her Title VII claims at the time it answers the complaint and may also want to consider filing a motion to dismiss. Although this decision has clear implications for Title VII actions, it also may affect the litigation of employment discrimination and retaliation claims under state law, such as claims filed with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) pursuant to M.G. L. Ch. 151B and with the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights (RICHR) under Rhode Island’s State Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA).

Don’t Panic: The Supreme Court Did Not Just Open the Floodgates to Bias Claims

Franczek Radelet P.C • June 04, 2019
Those who pay attention to the Supreme Court may have seen several recent headlines about how a new decision makes it easier for employees to pursue employment discrimination claims. Headlines like “High Court Weakens Employer Defense to Job Bias Claims” (Daily Labor Report) and “Bias Accusers Can Go Straight to Court, Justices Say” (Employment Law360) grab attention, but they are a bit misleading once you dig into the details of the case.

Supreme Court Holds EEOC Charge-Filing Requirement is Not Jurisdictional

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • June 04, 2019
On June 3, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Fort Bend County v. Davis that the requirement to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC (or relevant state or local agency) is not a jurisdictional prescription to a lawsuit’s claim under Title VII. Rather, it is a non-jurisdictional mandatory claim-processing rule that is a precondition for relief. The practical result of this decision is that employers must now timely raise any defense of failure to exhaust administrative remedies, or face the risk that their defense will be waived.

Snooze and Lose: Defendants Need to Raise Plaintiffs’ Failure to File Charge Early in Litigation

Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 03, 2019
The requirement under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that a complainant file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) prior to filing suit in federal court is a prudential, claim-processing rule that does not determine whether a court has subject-matter jurisdiction over the dispute, the U.S. Supreme Court has held in a unanimous ruling. Fort Bend County, Texas v. Davis, No. 18-525 (June 3, 2019).

eLABORate: Supreme Court Limits Employers' Defense to Job Discrimination Lawsuits

Phelps Dunbar LLP • June 03, 2019
In a unanimous June 3, 2019 ruling, the United States Supreme Court significantly limited employers’ ability to have job discrimination claims dismissed when employees procedurally fail to file a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or similar state agency.

Employers, Beware: SCOTUS Ruling Creates Title VII Litigation Trap

Fisher Phillips • June 03, 2019
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled today that Title VII’s administrative exhaustion requirement—whereby an aggrieved employee first must file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) or a state agency before filing a lawsuit—is merely a claim-processing rule, rather than jurisdictional. As a result, an employer who does not assert “failure to exhaust” as an affirmative defense to a lawsuit might waive the ability to seek dismissal on that basis. In light of today’s decision, employers must ensure they identify an employee’s failure to exhaust at the outset of any Title VII litigation to preserve their ability to dismiss the claims on that ground (Fort Bend County v. Davis).

Supreme Court Rules Title VII’s Requirement to File a Charge With the EEOC Is Not Jurisdictional

Ogletree Deakins • June 03, 2019
On June 3, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the precondition in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requiring employees to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before commencing an action in court is not jurisdictional. Rather, the charge-filing requirement is a “nonjurisdictional claim-processing rule,” Justice Ginsburg wrote in a unanimous opinion. “[A] rule may be mandatory without being jurisdictional, and Title VII’s charge-filing requirement fits that bill,” the Court ruled. Fort Bend County, Texas v. Davis, No. 18-525.
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