Jason Habinsky in Politico Pro: High Court Hears Case on EEOC Oversight


In oral arguments Tuesday, Supreme Court justices seemed to support judicial oversight over the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s settlement process.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer all appeared skeptical of the EEOC’s claim that its settlement efforts prior to filing a lawsuit should be free of judicial review ...

“They do have an agenda, they do have certain issues, they do have certain cases they want to push,” said Jason Habinsky, a partner in the labor and employment practice group at the New York office of Haynes and Boone, LLP. “The way they can do that is essentially blow off the settlement or conciliation process and do things that are unreasonable.”

But the EEOC argues the conciliation process was meant to be informal, and that such informality makes it easier to reach settlement. Court oversight of the conciliation process, the EEOC’s defenders say, might deter employers from bargaining with the agency. These defenders say employers will use court review as a delay tactic.

Excerpted from Politico Pro, January 14, 2015. (subscription required).

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