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EEOC is Not Bound by Arbitration Agreement Between Employer and Employee

This report relates to 1 case(s)

Author: Lisa Pierson Weinberger, Mom, Esq.

In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Waffle House, Inc., +534 U.S. 279 (2002), the United States Supreme Court addressed whether an arbitration agreement between an employer and an employee prevents the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) from filing a lawsuit against the employer and seeking all available remedies on an employee's behalf.

Congress has provided the EEOC with the power to enforce certain employment discrimination laws. As part of this authority, the EEOC may file a lawsuit on its own - without the consent of the victimized employee - to stop an employer from engaging in discriminatory conduct and to seek appropriate relief on behalf of the employee who suffered discrimination.

In this case, the Court held that the EEOC is not bound by the provisions of an arbitration agreement that an employee entered into with the employer. Accordingly, if the EEOC chooses to file a lawsuit on the employee's behalf, it can do so without regard to the arbitration agreement and it can seek appropriate remedies.