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Courts greenlight stalled EEOC gender bias case against mining firm

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Following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case, a U.S. District Court has held that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's gender discrimination litigation against Mach Mining L.L.C. can proceed.

In its unanimous ruling April 29, 2015 ruling in Mach Mining L.L.C. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission the Supreme Court held that while the agency's conciliation efforts are subject to judicial review, it also has “extensive discretion” to determine the kind and amount of communication it has with an employer. Experts have described the ruling as, at best, a qualified win for employers.

The EEOC said in a statement issued Friday that in its Jan. 19 ruling, the U.S. District Court in Chicago “rejected the company's attempt to use supposed flaws in the agency's pre-suit conciliation process as a basis for delay or dismissal of the case.”

The EEOC said it had originally filed suit against Marion, Illinois-based Mach Mining in 2012, charging the firm had violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by failing to hire even a single woman for a mining position despite receiving applications from qualified women, and that the company did not even have bathroom facilities for women miners.