If I filed a compaint with the EEOC do I have to tke wht they offer me?

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If I filed a compaint with the EEOC do I have to tke wht they offer me?

I filed a complaint against my employer for age and gender discrimination. I have worked there for 25 years. The mediator called me to set up a meeting and tried to get me to settle over the phone. She told me if I take severance pay that it won’t be much and I would have to leave the company. I am a 66 year old female and my chances of finding another job that pays what I make is impossible. Should I go to this meeting and try to negotiate?

Asked on November 11, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, go to the meeting and yes, try to negotiate at it. At the end of the day, a mediation does not produce a mandatory result, only voluntary ones: i.e. you cannot be forced to take any offers, but can turn them down. Therefore, there's no harm in trying to mediate: you may be able to settle the matter, and if you can't, you are no worse off.
If you can't settle, the matter will continue: either the EEOC will take action for you or you will be able to file a lawsuit yourself. 
The above said, speak to an employment law attorney: what does someone who represents employees for a living think about your case? Some cases are stronger, and some are weaker: what does experienced counsel believe that your case, based on the facts and circumstances, is worth, and how good would be your chance of winning in a lawsuit? If may  be that the case is not worth much, or may be that it theoretically is worth a reasonable amount, but you have some problem with or lack of evidence--in either event, you may wish to settle, since you might get little more, or lose and get nothing, if you litigate. The issue is not whether you can find another job paying this much: the issue is, what can you expect to get in court, based on the actions you are complaining of and the evidence you have of them? Only an attorney experienced in this area, reviewing the precise circumstances of you case, can advise you in this regard, and that advice is critical to knowing if you should settle, and for how much.
Good luck.


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