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Justices just made It harder for employers to dismiss job bias lawsuits

Marcia Coyle writes in The National Law Journal, "Employers lost one legal pathway to eliminating job bias suits in federal court in a unanimous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.

The high court, led by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, ruled that the requirement that a worker first file a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a precondition to filing a Title VII lawsuit is not a jurisdictional requirement but a mandatory claims-processing rule. And an employer must timely raise a worker’s failure to file a charge or forfeit that defense.

Ginsburg, in an 11-page opinion, rejected arguments by Texas’ Fort Bend County that the charge-filing precondition under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a jurisdictional requirement that goes to a court’s authority to hear a suit and that can be raised at any stage of a proceeding.

“Like kindred provisions directing parties to raise objections in agency rulemaking, follow procedures governing copyright registration, or attempt settlement, Title VII’s charge-filing requirement is a processing rule, albeit a mandatory one, not a jurisdictional prescription delineating the adjudicatory authority of courts,” Ginsburg wrote." READ MORE>>

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