WASHINGTON – Today, the House of Representatives passed a resolution introduced by Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) that will protect victims of workplace discrimination. The Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval (S. J. Res 13) repeals a Trump-era rule that forced the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to meet new burdensome requirements affecting workers who bring allegations of discrimination.
The resolution, which the Senate passed on May 19, now heads to President Biden’s desk.
“Every worker who seeks justice for workplace discrimination deserves swift and fair access to justice,” said Chairman Scott. “Regrettably, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s conciliation rule stacks the resolution process against workers by making it easier for employers to litigate over the EEOC’s compliance with the rule instead of the employer’s discriminatory behavior. For workers, the EEOC’s conciliation rule means delayed justice and an increased risk of retaliation against victims of discrimination and witnesses.”
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, when the EEOC has reasonable cause to conclude that an employer has violated the law, it first must engage in “informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion” before it files a lawsuit. Conciliation was intended to be an informal and confidential process where the parties can choose to settle a charge of employer discrimination without going to court.
In the final weeks of the Trump administration, the Republican-chaired EEOC approved, by a 3-2 party-line vote, a final rule that turned informal conciliation into a formal process, made it harder for victims of unlawful discrimination to get relief, and increased the risk of retaliation against victims and witnesses.
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