employers beware

On June 3 the United States Supreme  Court decide the case of Fort Bend County V. Davis . Davis an employee of defendant filed a charge with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) alleging sexual harassment and retaliation for making such a claim . Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits such discrimination . On receipt of a charge ,the EEOC,which received the charge fro the TWC notified Fort Bend County  of the charge. During the pendency of the charge Davis was ordered to work on a Sunday.She had a previous church committment and did not show up for work and was terminated  . Davis then wrote “religion”on the “intake questionnaire  “she initially filed and did not amend the formal charge  FORT BEND did not raise any objections .The EEOC ultimately issued a “Right To Sue ” letter .Davis filed suit . After years of litigation the only claim remaining was the religion -based discrimination. Fort Bend moved to dismiss because the formal EEOC charge did not state a religion -based discrimination claim.  The District Court agreed and dismissed the case  . Davis appealed . The Circuit Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit Reversed the lower court  holding that: Title VII ‘s filing requirement is NOT jurisdictional , instead it is a prudential prerequisite to suit forfeited in this case as Fort Bend waited too long to raise an objection. The U S Supreme Court unanimously agreed.. CAVEAT if you want to raise a defense or object to added elements of a charge or complaint do it early.

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