EEOC's conciliation duty is reviewable (barely)

This year's least important SCOTUS decision.

Before suing an employer to enforce Title VII, the EEOC must first “endeavor to eliminate [the] alleged unlawful employment practice by informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion.”

Can courts review the adequacy of the EEOC's efforts? If so, what is the scope of that review?

Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC (US Supreme Court 04/29/2015) gives us the answer in a unanimous opinion.

The syllabus puts it quite nicely:

"The proper scope of review thus matches the terms of Title VII’s conciliation provision. In order to comply with that provision, the EEOC must inform the employer about the specific discrimination allegation. Such notice must describe what the employer has done and which employees (or class of employees) have suffered. And the EEOC must try to engage the employer in a discussion in order to give the employer a chance to remedy the allegedly discriminatory practice. A sworn affidavit from the EEOC stating that it has performed these obligations should suffice to show that it has met the conciliation requirement. Should the employer present concrete evidence that the EEOC did not provide the requisite information about the charge or attempt to engage in a discussion about conciliating the claim, a court must conduct the factfinding necessary to resolve that limited dispute. Should it find for the employer, the appropriate remedy is to order the EEOC to undertake the mandated conciliation efforts."

Friends, if this decision gets you excited, then you need to bring something new into your life.