Does the EEOC’s finding of no discrimination prevent a subsequent court proceeding?

No, the U.S. Supreme Court made clear in McDonnell Douglas v. Green (1973) that the EEOC’s finding of no reasonable cause for discrimination does not prevent a subsequent employment discrimination lawsuit. Similarly, courts have determined that an EEOC finding of reasonable cause of discrimination does not mean that a plaintiff-employee has established a basic claim of discrimination.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Chandler v. Roudebush (1976) that prior EEOC administrative findings may be admitted as evidence under the federal rules of evidence. Trial judges generally have the discretion to determine the admissibility of such administrative agency findings. Remember that the existence of discrimination still depends upon the facts of particular cases, not upon the EEOC’s findings. Some courts have determined that EEOC findings have limited probative value.