SCOTUS RULES ON TITLE VII ADMINISTRATIVE EXHAUSTION REQUIREMENT
In Fort Bend County v. Davis, the Supreme Court held the administrative requirement is not a jurisdictional requirement, but is instead a mandatory claim-processing rule that can be waived when an employer defendant does not timely raise failure to comply with it. Under the Court’s ruling, an employee’s failure to first file a discrimination claim with the EEOC (thus exhausting administrative remedies) does not preclude the employee from litigating the claim in court. A federal court is not barred from hearing a Title VII case just because an employee failed to satisfy the administrative exhaustion requirement.
While not a jurisdictional one, the requirement remains a mandatory prerequisite for an employee to file a Title VII suit and a plaintiff’s failure to complete this step before filing suit is still grounds for a court to dismiss a case. The decision establishes that a Defendant employer must raise failure-to-exhaust administrative remedies defenses early in litigation (i.e. when responding to the complaint or filing a motion to dismiss sufficiently early in the case) if it wants the case dismissed on failure to exhaust grounds.
The Full Opinion is available Here.