Don’t think your legal troubles are over after the EEOC decides a case and you decide not to appeal. The employee can still sue you in federal court to recover his attorneys’ fees for the work the lawyer did before the case went to the EEOC.
Recent case: Ronald Porter, who was a civilian employee of the Department of the Navy, filed an EEOC complaint alleging that the Navy discriminated against him based on his sex and then retaliated when he complained.
The EEOC said there had been no gender discrimination, but concluded Porter had experienced retaliation.
Porter then sued in federal court for attorneys’ fees, arguing that the amount the Navy offered and the agency recommended was not enough. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said such a lawsuit is allowed. (Porter v. Winter, et al., No. 07-17120, 9th Cir., 2010)