Case Name: Fort Bend County, Texas v. Davis

Filed: June 3, 2019 by the Supreme Court of the United States

Subject Matter: The Title VII requirement to file a claim with the EEOC (or its local counterpart) is a claim-processing rule and not a jurisdictional requirement. As such, if not timely raised, it may be forfeited by the defendant.

“Years into the [employment discrimination] litigation, Fort  Bend  asserted  for  the  first  time  that  the  District  Court  lacked  jurisdiction  to  adjudicate  Davis’  religion-based  discrimination  claim  because  she  had  not  stated  such  a  claim  in  her  EEOC  charge.    Granting  the  motion,  the  District  Court  held  that  Davis  had  not  satisfied  the  charge-filing  requirement  with  respect  to  her  claim  of  religion-based  discrimination,  and  that  the  requirement  qualified  as  ‘jurisdictional,’  which  made  it  nonforfeitable. The Fifth Circuit reversed. Title VII’s charge-filing requirement, the Court of Appeals held, is not jurisdictional; instead, the requirement is a prudential  prerequisite  to  suit,  forfeited  in  Davis’  case  because  Fort  Bend  did  not  raise  it  until  after  ‘an  entire  round  of  appeals  all  the  way  to  the  Supreme  Court.’” (internal citations omitted).

Note:   While it is obvious that the second round of litigation may be late to bring up the claim-processing rule, it still begs the question of how late is too late.

Kristymarie Shipley
Kristymarie is an Associate Attorney whose practice focuses on litigation, and labor & employment. She is fluent in Spanish.