Plaintiff, a FedEx courier, alleged age discrimination under the ADEA by filing with the EEOC ?only ?a ?Form? 283 ??Intake ?Questionnaire? and a detailed six-page affidavit, after which she filed suit. ?The trial court granted FedEx?s motion to dismiss on the ground that the plaintiff?s filings did not constitute a ?charge? within the meaning of?the?? ADEA.????? The?? Second?? Circuit?? Court?? of Appeals reversed.?? ?The ADEA requires a claimant? to? file? a? ?charge?? alleging discrimination with the EEOC 60 days before filing a lawsuit in court, but does not define the term ?charge.??? ?Deferring to the EEOC?s regulation defining a charge, 29 CFR ? 1626, as a reasonable construction of the statute, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with the Second Circuit that the plaintiff?s filings were sufficient to constitute? a? charge.??? However,? the? Court? held that? the? EEOC? regulation? contains? only? some, not all, requirements of a charge so a document meeting the regulatory requirements is not a charge in every instance.? ?Agreeing with the EEOC?s interpretation of what other components are required, the Supreme Court held:? ??In addition to the information required by the regulations, i.e., an allegation and the name of the charged party, if a filing is to be deemed a charge it must be reasonably construed as a request for the agency to take remedial action to protect the employee?s rights or otherwise settle a dispute between the employer and the employee.????? ?The?? Court?? acknowledged?? that ?under this permissive standard a wide range of documents might be classified as charges,? but concluded that ?this result is consistent with the design and purpose of the ADEA.? ?The dissent dismissed as improper the Court?s deference to the EEOC contending that the Court adopts a broader than ordinary meaning of the term ?charge? that is too malleable. ?Federal Express Corp. v. Holowecki, 128 S. Ct. 1147 (2008).
What Constitutes an EEOC ?Charge? is Broadly Construed.
May 1, 2007