Fighting Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigations could become more time-consuming and expensive if the U.S. Supreme Court sides with the agency in an upcoming review of the level of deference appeals courts must give to lower courts’ decisions on whether to enforce subpoenas the agency issues.
The justices granted certiorari Thursday in a case brought by McLane Co. Inc. The supply chain services company had appealed after the Ninth Circuit reversed a lower court decision that said McLane didn’t have to turn over certain employee information to the EEOC in an investigation of a gender discrimination claim.
“If the Supreme Court says that it’s a deferential standard of review, then you’re going to speed up investigations,” said Hugh Murray, a partner at McCarter & English LLP. “And if it says its a de novo review, then it’s going to slow things down.”