EEOC Seal

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



Definitions of Terms

Administrative Closure
Charge closed for administrative reasons, which include: failure to locate charging party, charging party failed to respond to EEOC communications, charging party refused to accept full relief, closed due to the outcome of related litigation which establishes a precedent that makes further processing of the charge futile, charging party requests withdrawal of a charge without receiving benefits or having resolved the issue, no statutory jurisdiction.
Merit Resolutions
Charges with outcomes favorable to charging parties and/or charges with meritorious allegations. These include negotiated settlements, withdrawals with benefits, successful conciliations, and unsuccessful conciliations.
No Reasonable Cause
EEOC's determination of no reasonable cause to believe that discrimination occurred based upon evidence obtained in investigation. The charging party may exercise the right to bring private court action.
Reasonable Cause
EEOC's determination of reasonable cause to believe that discrimination occurred based upon evidence obtained in investigation. Reasonable cause determinations are generally followed by efforts to conciliate the discriminatory issues which gave rise to the initial charge. NOTE: Some reasonable cause findings are resolved through negotiated settlements, withdrawals with benefits, and other types of resolutions, which are not characterized as either successful or unsuccessful conciliations.
Settlements (Negotiated)
Charges settled with benefits to the charging party as warranted by evidence of record. In such cases, EEOC and/or a FEPA is a party to the settlement agreement between the charging party and the respondent (an employer, union, or other entity covered by EEOC-enforced statutes).
Successful Conciliation
Charge with reasonable cause determination closed after successful conciliation. Successful conciliations result in substantial relief to the charging party and all others adversely affected by the discrimination.
Unsuccessful Conciliation
Charge with reasonable cause determination closed after efforts to conciliate the charge are unsuccessful. Pursuant to Commission policy, the field office will close the charge and review it for litigation consideration. NOTE: Because "reasonable cause" has been found, this is considered a merit resolution.
Withdrawal with Benefits
Charge is withdrawn by charging party upon receipt of desired benefits. The withdrawal may take place after a settlement or after the respondent grants the appropriate benefit to the charging party.