The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled that a worker’s failure to lodge a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before filing a discrimination lawsuit can be raised as a defense by employers, but does not bar courts from hearing a case.
A unanimous three-judge 10th Circuit panel overturned four decades of precedent that said filing an EEOC charge is a jurisdictional prerequisite to bringing a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other laws enforced by the commission. The panel said it polled all of the court’s judges, who unanimously agreed that its prior rulings were wrong.
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