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Milestones: 1997

  • A unanimous Supreme Court in Robinson v. Shell Oil, adopts EEOC's position (advanced as amicus curiae) that the Title VII prohibition against retaliation protects former as well as current employees.
  • The Supreme Court in Walters and EEOC v. Metropolitan Educational Enterprises approves EEOC's "payroll method" of counting employees to determine if an employer has the requisite number of employees to be subject to Title VII coverage.
  • EEOC resolves a lawsuit against Publix Super Markets where the agency had alleged that the company discriminated against women in job assignments and promotions. EEOC secures future promotional opportunities for women and $63.5 million in back pay to current and former female employees in four southern states.
  • EEOC settles a lawsuit against Martin Marietta Corporation for age based layoffs. The company agrees to rehire 450 claimants who had been unlawfully laid off and pays $13 million to approximately 2,000 claimants.
  • EEOC issues a policy guidance stating that employer-employee agreements that mandate binding arbitration of discrimination claims as a condition of employment violate federal fair employment laws. EEOC issues this statement as an increasing number of employers are requiring as a condition of employment that applicants and employees give up their right to go to court on discrimination claims.
  • EEOC for the first time in its history utilizes negotiated rulemaking and invites twenty experts representing management, labor and employees to negotiate and develop a rule on waivers of age discrimination claims related to retirement and severance benefits under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990.
  • EEOC issues guidance stating that an individual's right to file a charge with EEOC cannot be waived. Additionally the guidance makes clear an individual's right to testify, assist, or participate in an EEOC proceeding cannot be waived.
  • EEOC creates a home page on the Internet to provide the public with greater access to information about the agency and the laws which it enforces. Addresses and phone numbers of field offices, the text of the laws enforced by the agency, enforcement guidance, fact sheets, press releases and the biographies of Commissioners and the General Counsel are placed on the home page. The address is http://www.eeoc.gov.
  • EEOC resolves approximately 106,000 charges -- the most in any one year.

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