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Consider settling early to save on attorneys’ fees

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Letting a discrimination case work through the EEOC or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission before settling generally means big legal costs for employers.

Reason: A settlement means a “win” for the plaintiff, and that means the employee’s attorney gets paid.

Recent case: Peter, who is white, sued his former employer, Empire Office, for reverse discrimination. After the employer refused to settle, his attorneys filed a federal lawsuit.

Soon, Peter agreed to settle the case for $25,000 since he was ill and wanted to resolve the matter quickly.

Peter’s attorneys petitioned the court to have Empire Office pay their fees, which they claimed amounted to about $60,000. The court reduced that to $50,000 and ordered Empire to pay that, plus the court filing fees. (Connors v. Empire Office, No. 3:14-0913, MD PA, 2016)

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