It appears you may have a lawyer who filed a case for you. Your question contains far too few facts to answer and is too complex in nature to answer here. Go speak with your attorney. If you do not have an attorney, bring all your paperwork to a civil rights or employment attorney for a thorough analysis. It is not possible to answer you in this simple online forum.
When someone asking a question on Avvo indicates he or she has an attorney, the best answer is always, "Ask your attorney." He or she will have far more information and insight into your particular situation. Good luck.
By the very nature of Avvo, you have only provided limited facts and no documentation, therefore, our response to your question is treated only as a hypothetical, and as such it is merely general in nature. You should not rely on this response in taking or forgoing action in your circumstances without discussing this matter with an attorney. If we had the opportunity to ask you sufficient questions and review relevant documents so that we were satisfied we had all of the relevant facts and circumstances, our response might differ significantly. Without the opportunity to ask you questions, and review all relevant documents and memoranda, we are simply unable to provide any form of legal advice. Our response to your question does not create any attorney-client relationship between us, and we are not acting as your attorney. We reserve the right to decline representation in any case. By answering your question, we are under no obligation to answer further questions. There are very specific deadlines for filing a lawsuit, replying to a lawsuit filed against you, or taking other action in order to preserve your legal rights. You should contact an attorney immediately in order to be fully advised of your rights, and so that you are aware of those deadlines. If you fail to act within the required time frame, you might be forever barred from asserting your rights or defending your position. The attorney answering this question is licensed in Illinois and Iowa only.
I am a California attorney and cannot give legal advice in your state. My comments are information only, based on federal law and general legal principles. YOUR STATE MAY HAVE ITS OWN LAWS THAT OFFER SIMILAR OR GREATER PROTECTION. If I mention your state’s laws, it only means I did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant. You MUST check with an attorney licensed in your state to learn your rights.
Where are you getting this information? It doesn't make sense, so I sure hope you aren't being told this by an attorney. Class actions do not work in the way suggested by your question. A class action is a lawsuit where a large number of people have claims based on a common legal violation, as well as other requirements. Members of the class have the right to withdraw from the class and file their own individual lawsuit. If they do, then their cases are handled as individual cases and any settlement amount is not included in the class settlement amount.
If you are represented by an attorney, talk to him or her. No one on Avvo knows anything about your case and cannot possibly speculate on its value. If you are not represented by an attorney, get one. Do not rely on the EEOC to represent your interests because the EEOC's client is the government, not you, even if you serve to benefit from the EEOC's actions. Your own attorney will be in a far better place to represent you and protect your rights, including any that the EEOC does not handle.
You can find a plaintiffs employment attorney on the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) web site www.nela.org. NELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the country for attorneys representing working people. You can search by location and practice area. Also, NELA has affiliates in every state and many cities which are listed on the NELA site. Not all NELA attorneys are named on the web site or affiliate site. This should not influence your selection; attorneys can choose whether or not to purchase a listing in the national directory, and each affiliate has its own rules for listing.
I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best.
@MikaSpencer * * * twitter.com/MikaSpencer * * * PLEASE READ: All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. * * * Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. * * * No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. * * * Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis.