Normally, any action in relation to the allegations is prescribed on an EEOC count if it is not filed within that 90-day period, unless the circumstances are such that the court fairly resolves the limitation period, i.e., despite reasonable efforts, the applicant did not discover the injury until after the expiry of the period or identified the right party. As statutes of limitations are supposed to speed up the resolution of disputes, the courts apply the fair toll doctrine sparingly. In Lee, the applicant did not inform his lawyer that he had received his application within the legal time frame, so that his lawyer did not appeal to the federal court until after the 90-day period had expired. The Ninth Court of Appeal remained motionless. The applicant`s ignorance of the filing time was not the type of “exceptional circumstances” that warranted a fair toll. The first case, Lee v. Venetian Casino Resort, LLC, considered whether an applicant`s title VII right was prescribed because he did not bring an appeal within 90 days of receiving a request from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). This 90-day period runs from the day the applicant`s letter of appeal arrives. Potential complainants in two employment decisions – one in the fifth circle, the other in the ninth circle – have recently been reminded that, no matter how strong the facts of their case, they may still lose out on a technical fact. Even before an application is before, an applicant must first have overcome another obstacle to the procedure: the exhaustion of his administrative appeals to the EEOC. What exactly that means depends on whether the court will try the case.
The first, the second, the third, the fifth, the sixth, the seventh, the tenth, and the D.C. Circuits found that the requirement to exhaust Title VII was not competent, meaning that workers are not required to exhaust administrative remedies before making a biased appeal to the federal court. On the other hand, the fourth, ninth and eleventh circuits each found otherwise and prohibited the courts from hearing title VII claims unless the applicant first complained to the EEOC. The 8th circuit is still undecided on this issue. In order to resolve this division, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to reconsider a Fifth Court of Appeals decision that includes the requirement for Title VII depletion. See Fort Bend County v. Davis, case 18-525. In Davis, the Fifth Circuit stated that the obligation to exhaust Title VII is a rule of treatment of rights that is subject to a waiver or other fair exceptions, “not a judicial deadlock, but a prudential condition.” Since the employer had not argued in time in the appeal that the applicant had not exhausted its administrative remedies in its entirety, the Fifth Arrondissement found that the question of law was removed. If the Court confirms the involvement of the 5th arrondissement, the parties to the proceedings may pursue an action of discrimination on the basis of the employment relationship, even if they have not fully exploited their administrative remedies, if they waive an exemption from the decision on identical grounds. On the other hand, if the court overturns the judgment of the 5th circle, any errors in the administrative procedure will be found in order to prohibit a subsequent appeal.
While prudent complainants will continue to submit EEOC rights and completely exhaust the process before pursuing a federal appeal, the Supreme Court`s decision can finally determine how comprehensive the exhaustion requirement is. In the meantime, employers are reminded not to delay the defence of exhaustion so that the defence is not excluded. Lee and Davis illustrate the nuances of the procedure in the context of labour law.