Sterling Jewelers Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review “Sufficiency” of EEOC Investigation

Term: Cert. Denied
Oral Argument Date:
Vote: Cert. Denied
Questions Presented: 

Whether the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit erred when it concluded, as a matter of first impression, that the Supreme Court’s standard for judicial review of the EEOC’s statutory duty to conciliate, described in Mach Mining, applies equally to the EEOC’s statutory duty to investigate, despite the significant and material differences between the duty to attempt conciliation and the duty to conduct an investigation.

U.S. Chamber's Position: 

The U.S. Chamber filed an amicus brief in support of a cert. petition challenging the Second Circuit’s decision that although Title VII permits courts to review whether the EEOC conducted an investigation before bringing an enforcement action, it does not permit courts to review the sufficiency and scope of such an investigation.  The Chamber’s brief argued that the Second Circuit’s erroneous view of the Supreme Court’s decision in Mach Mining will have a dramatic impact on American business and that its decision conflicts with the statutory text, structure, and purpose of Title VII.  Also, the brief details how the Supreme Court’s intervention is required to rein in the EEOC’s expanding and aggressive enforcement policy.

Collin O'Connor Udell of Jackson Lewis P.C. served as counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center.

Outcome Content: 

The petition for writ of certiorari was denied.

Procedural History: 

Cert. petition filed 4/29/2016.

U.S. Chamber amicus brief filed 5/31/2016.

Cert. denied 10/3/2016.