Copyright (c) 2003 Mississippi Law Journal
Mississippi Law Journal
COMMENT: A Pragmatic Approach to EEOC Misconduct: Drawing a Line on Commission Bad Faith in Title VII Litigation
73 Miss. L.J. 289
Anthony P. Zana *
Within the folds separating governmental powers, the judiciary has long given administrative agencies latitude to complete their respective functions. 1 Is it accurate to construe this autonomy as immunizing the conduct of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC" or "Commission") by allowing the agency to ignore their federal statutory requirements when prosecuting suits under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? 2 This double standard has been promoted under a guise of procedural limitations and administrative discretion; 3 however, deference should end where misconduct begins. EEOC violations during pre-litigation activities call for heightened judicial awareness and stronger responses to Commission misconduct because such misconduct unduly burdens employers and ultimately costs consumers.
The Commission's administrative tasks are critical to the ethical reduction of workplace discrimination under Title VII in part because they must be completed before either the EEOC or an individual can commence a lawsuit. Moreover, when the EEOC completes the administrative requirements without integrity, it is knowingly disregarding the letter and spirit in which its regulations were promulgated, which should limit the Commission's ability to hale employers into court. The EEOC is instrumental in effectuating Title VII's goal of fostering equal employment. This goal is disserved when the Commission does not appropriately complete these requirements, and problems of fairness and due process can arise for employers and the courts alike.
The following commentary consists of four main sections. As an introduction, the first section surveys the basic EEOC procedures. Next, the unique burdens required ...
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