Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.
I have been told by friends who are EEO counselors that most EEO cases settle before a hearing. Do you have a sense of how EEO cases fare when a civil action is filed? Are most settled? Are the settlement amounts higher? When the agency doesn’t settle, do they usually win? Why would a complainant choose to file a civil action over an EEO hearing?
Most EEO cases settle. Whether the amounts in settlement are higher than litigation cannot be determined. Sometimes, in a settlement, a complainant can get something the judge is powerless to award in exchange for compromising elsewhere. Someone might choose a civil action in federal court versus an EEO hearing at the EEOC to have the case heard by a jury. But federal court is demanding and complicated, and it is difficult to succeed there without a lawyer. The same might be said of an EEOC hearing, but the procedures are somewhat less complicated.
Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.
Disclaimer: Ask a Lawyer publishes information on this website for informational purposes only. Information on this website is intended – but not promised, guaranteed, or warranted – to reflect correct, complete and current developments. In addition, the contents of the website do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the attorney. Information from this website is not intended to be used as a substitute for specific legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. You should not act, or refrain from acting, based on information on this website without seeking specific legal advice about your particular circumstances. No attorney-client relationship between you and Ask a Lawyer’s author is created by the transmission of information to or from this site.