Court weighs government duty to settle bias claims

US Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court will consider how hard government lawyers must negotiate with an employer to settle charges of job discrimination before filing a lawsuit.

The justices agreed Monday to hear an appeal from an Illinois company sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for allegedly failing to hire qualified female job applicants. Mach Mining LLC says the lawsuit should be thrown out because the EEOC didn't put enough effort into settlement talks before going to court.

A federal judge agreed to review whether settlement attempts were sincere. But the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, saying it is up to the EEOC - not the courts - to decide what is acceptable.

The Supreme Court will reconsider that decision during its new term this fall.

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