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We’ve previously written about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in EEOC v. Mach Mining as it relates to the issue of administrative conciliation requirement, as well as the circuit court’s subsequent ruling upon remand from the Supreme Court.  This time we focus on the district court’s refusal to allow the EEOC to amend their complaint to add party defendants who weren’t named in the EEOC’s Letter of Determination and didn’t have actual notice or an opportunity to conciliate.

This opinion is instructive on both the issue of adding entities as defendants who did not receive notice nor have an opportunity to conciliate. Additionally, the opinion is helpful to entities trying to defeat the EEOC’s “single employer” notice arguments.

The EEOC argued that it should be allowed to add the parties under the “single employer” theory which provides that, “notice to one entity is notice to all.” The EEOC argued that Mach Mining was sufficiently aligned with the other entities to fall under the EEOC charge and cited to several cases in support of their argument. The Court considered these cases, but determined that the EEOC had not demonstrated that any of the additional entities exercised a level of control over Mach Mining’s hiring/firing procedures sufficient to bring them within the “single employer” theory.  Further, the EEOC acknowledged that some of the entities did not receive notice nor have an opportunity to conciliate and it failed to show that they could provide relief that Mach Mining could not provide.  For the above reasons, District Judge J. Phil Gilbert denied the EEOC’s motion for leave to amend the complaint to add some of these entities as party defendants.