In the same year, the total number of disputes raised before the conciliation mechanism was 425 (provisional figures).
Then, given the reverse swing of the pendulum, conciliation should also regain its lost relevance.
In India, industrial disputes are not settled through arbitration but are routed through the conciliation machineries of the Central and/or the state governments.
Convene a joint conference to ascertain the causes of dispute but in doing so runs the risk of commencing the conciliation proceedings.
Having initiated the conciliation proceedings attempt to bring the disputants to a common platform where they can negotiate to a bipartite agreement.
A salient feature of adjudication through reference is that, the court or the adjudicator deliberates only on the issues framed by the conciliation officer and would not open the case afresh or go into the merit of the case.
Employers finding themselves in these situations have at times sought relief from the courts, arguing that the EEOC failed to meet its statutory obligation to "endeavor to eliminate" any alleged unlawful practices through the conciliation process.
In response to these arguments, courts have been somewhat mixed in their interpretation of the litigation effects of the conciliation requirement found in Title VII.
Mach Mining broke with this seeming trend and held late last year that the EEOC's conciliation efforts are not subject to judicial review and that employers cannot raise failure to conciliate as an affirmative defense.
Specifically, the 7th Circuit stated that the 2nd, 5th and 11th Circuits evaluate conciliation under a searching three-party inquiry that asks whether the EEOC outlined to the employer its case for believing Title VII has been violated, gave the employer the chance to comply voluntarily, and responded in a reasonable and flexible manner to the reasonable attitudes of the employer.
Although these actions may result in the EEOC adjusting its approach and doing more work before pulling the trigger on litigation, in light of the EEOC's aggressive enforcement efforts over the past few years, employers should still expect the EEOC to continue to contest employers' ability to challenge the sufficiency of conciliation efforts.