Press Release 08-18-2020

EEOC Holds Remote Public Meeting to Consider NPRM On Conciliation

Agency Seeks to Clarify Steps to Parties to Encourage More Voluntary Compliance

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today held a remote meeting to discuss a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on conciliation. The EEOC is proposing to amend its procedural rules governing conciliation in order to enhance its effectiveness and to create accountability and transparency in the conciliation process.

Under section 706 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Congress instructed that after the Commission finds reasonable cause for any charge, “the Commission shall endeavor to eliminate any such alleged unlawful employment practice by informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion.”  In 2015, the Supreme Court addressed the Commission’s conciliation requirements in the case, Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC, 575 U.S. 480 (2015).  In Mach Mining, the Court noted that conciliation plays an important role in achieving Congress’s goal of ending employment discrimination.   

Despite EEOC’s efforts to promote voluntary resolutions, the agency’s conciliation efforts resolve less than half of the charges where a reasonable cause finding has been made. Through this rulemaking, the Commission outlines its responsibilities in the conciliation process to fulfill its Congressional mandate and to increase the effectiveness of its efforts to achieve cooperation and voluntary compliance... 

After today’s discussion, the Commission voted in favor of sending the NPRM to OMB for review.

Chair Janet Dhillon said: “Conciliation is vital to EEOC’s efforts to remedy discrimination, and I am confident that today’s vote will pave the way to increasing participation in the conciliation process and, in turn, to achieving relief for more victims of employment discrimination.”

The Commission is seeking input through the notice and comment process on the question of whether these proposed amendments will result in additional challenges to the Commission’s conciliation efforts, and whether such challenges would delay or adversely impact litigation brought by the Commission.  

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.  Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.