42 U.S. Code § 2000e–5 - Enforcement provisions

(a) Power of Commission to prevent unlawful employment practices
The Commission is empowered, as hereinafter provided, to prevent any person from engaging in any unlawful employment practice as set forth in section 2000e–2 or 2000e–3 of this title.
(b) Charges by persons aggrieved or member of Commission of unlawful employment practices by employers, etc.; filing; allegations; notice to respondent; contents of notice; investigation by Commission; contents of charges; prohibition on disclosure of charges; determination of reasonable cause; conference, conciliation, and persuasion for elimination of unlawful practices; prohibition on disclosure of informal endeavors to end unlawful practices; use of evidence in subsequent proceedings; penalties for disclosure of information; time for determination of reasonable cause
Whenever a charge is filed by or on behalf of a person claiming to be aggrieved, or by a member of the Commission, alleging that an employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee controlling apprenticeship or other training or retraining, including on-the-job training programs, has engaged in an unlawful employment practice, the Commission shall serve a notice of the charge (including the date, place and circumstances of the alleged unlawful employment practice) on such employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee (hereinafter referred to as the “respondent”) within ten days, and shall make an investigation thereof. Charges shall be in writing under oath or affirmation and shall contain such information and be in such form as the Commission requires. Charges shall not be made public by the Commission. If the Commission determines after such investigation that there is not reasonable cause to believe that the charge is true, it shall dismiss the charge and promptly notify the person claiming to be aggrieved and the respondent of its action. In determining whether reasonable cause exists, the Commission shall accord substantial weight to final findings and orders made by State or local authorities in proceedings commenced under State or local law pursuant to the requirements of subsections (c) and (d) of this section. If the Commission determines after such investigation that there is reasonable cause to believe that the charge is true, the Commission shall endeavor to eliminate any such alleged unlawful employment practice by informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion. Nothing said or done during and as a part of such informal endeavors may be made public by the Commission, its officers or employees, or used as evidence in a subsequent proceeding without the written consent of the persons concerned. Any person who makes public information in violation of this subsection shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both. The Commission shall make its determination on reasonable cause as promptly as possible and, so far as practicable, not later than one hundred and twenty days from the filing of the charge or, where applicable under subsection (c) or (d) of this section, from the date upon which the Commission is authorized to take action with respect to the charge.
(c) State or local enforcement proceedings; notification of State or local authority; time for filing charges with Commission; commencement of proceedings
In the case of an alleged unlawful employment practice occurring in a State, or political subdivision of a State, which has a State or local law prohibiting the unlawful employment practice alleged and establishing or authorizing a State or local authority to grant or seek relief from such practice or to institute criminal proceedings with respect thereto upon receiving notice thereof, no charge may be filed under subsection (a)  [1] of this section by the person aggrieved before the expiration of sixty days after proceedings have been commenced under the State or local law, unless such proceedings have been earlier terminated, provided that such sixty-day period shall be extended to one hundred and twenty days during the first year after the effective date of such State or local law. If any requirement for the commencement of such proceedings is imposed by a State or local authority other than a requirement of the filing of a written and signed statement of the facts upon which the proceeding is based, the proceeding shall be deemed to have been commenced for the purposes of this subsection at the time such statement is sent by registered mail to the appropriate State or local authority.
(d) State or local enforcement proceedings; notification of State or local authority; time for action on charges by Commission
In the case of any charge filed by a member of the Commission alleging an unlawful employment practice occurring in a State or political subdivision of a State which has a State or local law prohibiting the practice alleged and establishing or authorizing a State or local authority to grant or seek relief from such practice or to institute criminal proceedings with respect thereto upon receiving notice thereof, the Commission shall, before taking any action with respect to such charge, notify the appropriate State or local officials and, upon request, afford them a reasonable time, but not less than sixty days (provided that such sixty-day period shall be extended to one hundred and twenty days during the first year after the effective day of such State or local law), unless a shorter period is requested, to act under such State or local law to remedy the practice alleged.
(e) Time for filing charges; time for service of notice of charge on respondent; filing of charge by Commission with State or local agency; seniority system
(1) A charge under this section shall be filed within one hundred and eighty days after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred and notice of the charge (including the date, place and circumstances of the alleged unlawful employment practice) shall be served upon the person against whom such charge is made within ten days thereafter, except that in a case of an unlawful employment practice with respect to which the person aggrieved has initially instituted proceedings with a State or local agency with authority to grant or seek relief from such practice or to institute criminal proceedings with respect thereto upon receiving notice thereof, such charge shall be filed by or on behalf of the person aggrieved within three hundred days after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred, or within thirty days after receiving notice that the State or local agency has terminated the proceedings under the State or local law, whichever is earlier, and a copy of such charge shall be filed by the Commission with the State or local agency.
(2) For purposes of this section, an unlawful employment practice occurs, with respect to a seniority system that has been adopted for an intentionally discriminatory purpose in violation of this subchapter (whether or not that discriminatory purpose is apparent on the face of the seniority provision), when the seniority system is adopted, when an individual becomes subject to the seniority system, or when a person aggrieved is injured by the application of the seniority system or provision of the system.
(3)
(A) For purposes of this section, an unlawful employment practice occurs, with respect to discrimination in compensation in violation of this subchapter, when a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice is adopted, when an individual becomes subject to a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice, or when an individual is affected by application of a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice, including each time wages, benefits, or other compensation is paid, resulting in whole or in part from such a decision or other practice.
(B) In addition to any relief authorized by section 1981a of this title, liability may accrue and an aggrieved person may obtain relief as provided in subsection (g)(1), including recovery of back pay for up to two years preceding the filing of the charge, where the unlawful employment practices that have occurred during the charge filing period are similar or related to unlawful employment practices with regard to discrimination in compensation that occurred outside the time for filing a charge.
(f) Civil action by Commission, Attorney General, or person aggrieved; preconditions; procedure; appointment of attorney; payment of fees, costs, or security; intervention; stay of Federal proceedings; action for appropriate temporary or preliminary relief pending final disposition of charge; jurisdiction and venue of United States courts; designation of judge to hear and determine case; assignment of case for hearing; expedition of case; appointment of master
(1) If within thirty days after a charge is filed with the Commission or within thirty days after expiration of any period of reference under subsection (c) or (d) of this section, the Commission has been unable to secure from the respondent a conciliation agreement acceptable to the Commission, the Commission may bring a civil action against any respondent not a government, governmental agency, or political subdivision named in the charge. In the case of a respondent which is a government, governmental agency, or political subdivision, if the Commission has been unable to secure from the respondent a conciliation agreement acceptable to the Commission, the Commission shall take no further action and shall refer the case to the Attorney General who may bring a civil action against such respondent in the appropriate United States district court. The person or persons aggrieved shall have the right to intervene in a civil action brought by the Commission or the Attorney General in a case involving a government, governmental agency, or political subdivision. If a charge filed with the Commission pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, is dismissed by the Commission, or if within one hundred and eighty days from the filing of such charge or the expiration of any period of reference under subsection (c) or (d) of this section, whichever is later, the Commission has not filed a civil action under this section or the Attorney General has not filed a civil action in a case involving a government, governmental agency, or political subdivision, or the Commission has not entered into a conciliation agreement to which the person aggrieved is a party, the Commission, or the Attorney General in a case involving a government, governmental agency, or political subdivision, shall so notify the person aggrieved and within ninety days after the giving of such notice a civil action may be brought against the respondent named in the charge
(A) by the person claiming to be aggrieved or
(B) if such charge was filed by a member of the Commission, by any person whom the charge alleges was aggrieved by the alleged unlawful employment practice. Upon application by the complainant and in such circumstances as the court may deem just, the court may appoint an attorney for such complainant and may authorize the commencement of the action without the payment of fees, costs, or security. Upon timely application, the court may, in its discretion, permit the Commission, or the Attorney General in a case involving a government, governmental agency, or political subdivision, to intervene in such civil action upon certification that the case is of general public importance. Upon request, the court may, in its discretion, stay further proceedings for not more than sixty days pending the termination of State or local proceedings described in subsection (c) or (d) of this section or further efforts of the Commission to obtain voluntary compliance.
(2) Whenever a charge is filed with the Commission and the Commission concludes on the basis of a preliminary investigation that prompt judicial action is necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act, the Commission, or the Attorney General in a case involving a government, governmental agency, or political subdivision, may bring an action for appropriate temporary or preliminary relief pending final disposition of such charge. Any temporary restraining order or other order granting preliminary or temporary relief shall be issued in accordance with rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. It shall be the duty of a court having jurisdiction over proceedings under this section to assign cases for hearing at the earliest practicable date and to cause such cases to be in every way expedited.
(3) Each United States district court and each United States court of a place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States shall have jurisdiction of actions brought under this subchapter. Such an action may be brought in any judicial district in the State in which the unlawful employment practice is alleged to have been committed, in the judicial district in which the employment records relevant to such practice are maintained and administered, or in the judicial district in which the aggrieved person would have worked but for the alleged unlawful employment practice, but if the respondent is not found within any such district, such an action may be brought within the judicial district in which the respondent has his principal office. For purposes of sections 1404 and 1406 of title 28, the judicial district in which the respondent has his principal office shall in all cases be considered a district in which the action might have been brought.
(4) It shall be the duty of the chief judge of the district (or in his absence, the acting chief judge) in which the case is pending immediately to designate a judge in such district to hear and determine the case. In the event that no judge in the district is available to hear and determine the case, the chief judge of the district, or the acting chief judge, as the case may be, shall certify this fact to the chief judge of the circuit (or in his absence, the acting chief judge) who shall then designate a district or circuit judge of the circuit to hear and determine the case.
(5) It shall be the duty of the judge designated pursuant to this subsection to assign the case for hearing at the earliest practicable date and to cause the case to be in every way expedited. If such judge has not scheduled the case for trial within one hundred and twenty days after issue has been joined, that judge may appoint a master pursuant to rule 53 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
(g) Injunctions; appropriate affirmative action; equitable relief; accrual of back pay; reduction of back pay; limitations on judicial orders
(1) If the court finds that the respondent has intentionally engaged in or is intentionally engaging in an unlawful employment practice charged in the complaint, the court may enjoin the respondent from engaging in such unlawful employment practice, and order such affirmative action as may be appropriate, which may include, but is not limited to, reinstatement or hiring of employees, with or without back pay (payable by the employer, employment agency, or labor organization, as the case may be, responsible for the unlawful employment practice), or any other equitable relief as the court deems appropriate. Back pay liability shall not accrue from a date more than two years prior to the filing of a charge with the Commission. Interim earnings or amounts earnable with reasonable diligence by the person or persons discriminated against shall operate to reduce the back pay otherwise allowable.
(2)
(A) No order of the court shall require the admission or reinstatement of an individual as a member of a union, or the hiring, reinstatement, or promotion of an individual as an employee, or the payment to him of any back pay, if such individual was refused admission, suspended, or expelled, or was refused employment or advancement or was suspended or discharged for any reason other than discrimination on account of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin or in violation of section 2000e–3 (a) of this title.
(B) On a claim in which an individual proves a violation under section 2000e–2 (m) of this title and a respondent demonstrates that the respondent would have taken the same action in the absence of the impermissible motivating factor, the court—
(i) may grant declaratory relief, injunctive relief (except as provided in clause (ii)), and attorney’s fees and costs demonstrated to be directly attributable only to the pursuit of a claim under section 2000e–2 (m) of this title; and
(ii) shall not award damages or issue an order requiring any admission, reinstatement, hiring, promotion, or payment, described in subparagraph (A).
(h) Provisions of chapter 6 of title 29 not applicable to civil actions for prevention of unlawful practices
The provisions of chapter 6 of title 29 shall not apply with respect to civil actions brought under this section.
(i) Proceedings by Commission to compel compliance with judicial orders
In any case in which an employer, employment agency, or labor organization fails to comply with an order of a court issued in a civil action brought under this section, the Commission may commence proceedings to compel compliance with such order.
(j) Appeals
Any civil action brought under this section and any proceedings brought under subsection (i) of this section shall be subject to appeal as provided in sections 1291 and 1292, title 28.
(k) Attorney’s fee; liability of Commission and United States for costs
In any action or proceeding under this subchapter the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the Commission or the United States, a reasonable attorney’s fee (including expert fees) as part of the costs, and the Commission and the United States shall be liable for costs the same as a private person.


[1]  So in original. Probably should be subsection “(b)”.

Source

(Pub. L. 88–352, title VII, § 706,July 2, 1964, 78 Stat. 259; Pub. L. 92–261, § 4,Mar. 24, 1972, 86 Stat. 104; Pub. L. 102–166, title I, §§ 107(b), 112, 113 (b),Nov. 21, 1991, 105 Stat. 1075, 1078, 1079; Pub. L. 111–2, § 3,Jan. 29, 2009, 123 Stat. 5.)
References in Text

This Act, referred to in subsec. (f)(2), means Pub. L. 88–352, July 2, 1964, 78 Stat. 241, known as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which is classified principally to subchapters II to IX of this chapter (§ 2000a et seq.). For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 2000a of this title and Tables.
Rules 65 and 53 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, referred to in subsec. (f)(2), (5), are set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.
Chapter 6 (§ 101 et seq.) of title 29, referred to in subsec. (h), is a reference to act Mar. 23, 1932, ch. 90, 47 Stat. 70, popularly known as the Norris-LaGuardia Act. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.
Amendments

2009—Subsec. (e)(3). Pub. L. 111–2added par. (3).
1991—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 102–166, § 112, designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 102–166, § 107(b), designated existing provisions as pars. (1) and (2)(A) and added par. (2)(B).
Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 102–166, § 113(b), inserted “(including expert fees)” after “attorney’s fee”.
1972—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 92–261, § 4(a), added subsec. (a). Former subsec. (a) redesignated (b) and amended generally.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 92–261, § 4(a), redesignated former subsec. (a) as (b), modified the procedure for the filing and consideration of charges by the Commission, subjected to coverage unlawful employment practices of joint labor-management committees controlling apprenticeship or other training or retraining, including on-the-job training programs, required the Commission to accord substantial weight to final findings and orders made by State or local authorities in proceedings commenced under State or local law in its determination of reasonable cause, and inserted provision setting forth the time period, after charges have been filed, allowed to the Commission to determine reasonable cause. Former subsec. (b) redesignated (c).
Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 92–261, § 4(a), redesignated former subsecs. (b) and (c) as (c) and (d), respectively. Former subsec. (d) redesignated (e).
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 92–261, § 4(a), redesignated former subsec. (d) as (e), extended from ninety to one hundred and eighty days after the occurrence of the alleged unlawful employment practice the time for filing charges under this section and from two hundred and ten to three hundred days the time for filing such charges where the person aggrieved initially instituted proceedings with a State or local agency, and inserted requirement that notice of the charge be served on the respondent within ten days after filing. Former subsec. (e) redesignated (f)(1).
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 92–261, § 4(a), redesignated former subsec. (e) as par. (1), substituted provisions setting forth the procedure for civil actions where the Commission was unable to secure from the respondents a conciliation agreement to prevent further unlawful employment practices for provisions setting forth the procedure for civil actions where the Commission was unable to obtain voluntary compliance with this subchapter and inserted provisions setting forth the procedure for civil action where the respondent is a government, governmental agency, or political subdivision and the Commission could not secure a conciliation agreement, added par. (2), redesignated former subsec. (f) as par. (3), substituted “aggrieved person” for “plaintiff”, and added pars. (4) and (5).
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 92–261, § 4(a), inserted provisions which authorized the court to order affirmative action not limited solely to the enumerated affirmative acts and such other equitable relief as deemed appropriate, and provisions which set forth the accrual date for back pay.
Subsecs. (i), (j). Pub. L. 92–261, § 4(b)(1), (2), substituted “this section” for “subsection (e) of this section”.
Effective Date of 2009 Amendment

Pub. L. 111–2, § 6,Jan. 29, 2009, 123 Stat. 7, provided that: “This Act [amending this section and section 2000e–16 of this title and sections 626, 633a, and 794a of Title 29, Labor, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section and section 2000a of this title], and the amendments made by this Act, take effect as if enacted on May 28, 2007 and apply to all claims of discrimination in compensation under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. 621 et seq.), title I and section 503 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 [42 U.S.C. 12111 et seq., 12203], and sections 501 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 [29 U.S.C. 791, 794], that are pending on or after that date.”
Effective Date of 1991 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 102–166effective Nov. 21, 1991, except as otherwise provided, see section 402 ofPub. L. 102–166, set out as a note under section 1981 of this title.
Effective Date of 1972 Amendment

Pub. L. 92–261, § 14,Mar. 24, 1972, 86 Stat. 113, provided that: “The amendments made by this Act to section 706 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [this section] shall be applicable with respect to charges pending with the Commission on the date of enactment of this Act [Mar. 24, 1972] and all charges filed thereafter.”
Findings

Pub. L. 111–2, § 2,Jan. 29, 2009, 123 Stat. 5, provided that: “Congress finds the following:
“(1) The Supreme Court in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 550 U.S. 618 (2007), significantly impairs statutory protections against discrimination in compensation that Congress established and that have been bedrock principles of American law for decades. The Ledbetter decision undermines those statutory protections by unduly restricting the time period in which victims of discrimination can challenge and recover for discriminatory compensation decisions or other practices, contrary to the intent of Congress.
“(2) The limitation imposed by the Court on the filing of discriminatory compensation claims ignores the reality of wage discrimination and is at odds with the robust application of the civil rights laws that Congress intended.
“(3) With regard to any charge of discrimination under any law, nothing in this Act [amending this section and section 2000e–16 of this title and sections 626, 633a, and 794a of Title 29, Labor, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section and section 2000a of this title] is intended to preclude or limit an aggrieved person’s right to introduce evidence of an unlawful employment practice that has occurred outside the time for filing a charge of discrimination.
“(4) Nothing in this Act is intended to change current law treatment of when pension distributions are considered paid.”
Application to Other Laws

Pub. L. 111–2, § 5(a), (b),Jan. 29, 2009, 123 Stat. 6, provided that:
“(a) Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990.—The amendments made by section 3 [amending this section] shall apply to claims of discrimination in compensation brought under title I and section 503 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12111 et seq., 12203), pursuant to section 107(a) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 12117 (a)), which adopts the powers, remedies, and procedures set forth in section 706 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e–5).
“(b) Rehabilitation Act of 1973.—The amendments made by section 3 shall apply to claims of discrimination in compensation brought under sections 501 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 791, 794), pursuant to—
“(1) sections 501(g) and 504(d) of such Act (29 U.S.C. 791 (g), 794 (d)), respectively, which adopt the standards applied under title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 [42 U.S.C. 12111 et seq.] for determining whether a violation has occurred in a complaint alleging employment discrimination; and
“(2) paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 505(a) of such Act (29 U.S.C. 794a (a)) (as amended by subsection (c)).”

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42 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

This is a list of parts within the Code of Federal Regulations for which this US Code section provides rulemaking authority.

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29 CFR - Labor

29 CFR Part 1601 - PROCEDURAL REGULATIONS

29 CFR Part 1605 - GUIDELINES ON DISCRIMINATION BECAUSE OF RELIGION

29 CFR Part 1606 - GUIDELINES ON DISCRIMINATION BECAUSE OF NATIONAL ORIGIN

 

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