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Can we privately settle a race bias case that may be heading for the EEOC?

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Q. We have been threatened with a race discrimination lawsuit. Frankly, we think we made a mistake. Can we settle the matter just between the employee and us?

A. Yes, but … Employers are permitted to enter into a post-dispute agreement in which the employee knowingly and voluntarily agrees to settle claims of discrimination and waives the right to recover in his or her own lawsuit (or litigation brought by the EEOC on that employee’s behalf).

While such a private settlement agreement will eliminate an employee’s right to personal recovery, it can’t interfere with the EEOC’s right to enforce the civil rights statutes.

The EEOC may still seek relief that will benefit the public and any workers who have not waived their claims.

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