If you are moving forward with conciliation/mediation during the EEOC process, I would strongly suggest having an attorney represent you through this. You can bet that the Respondent will have their attorney with them at the mediation. You are able to ask for back pay, front pay (or reinstatement), punitive damages if the discrimination/retaliation was willful and compensatory damages (for pain and suffering). Depending on the specifics of your case, you may or may not have other damage options available as well. I would suggest contacting an employment attorney so that you have an advocate on your side and so that you can make sure that you are getting what you deserve. Feel free to contact me directly (I am in Tampa, FL) if you would like more specific informtion.
The best part about mediation is that the outcome is dependent upon you. Ask for what you think is fair, hear what they have to say and either come to a mutually beneficial settlement or continue on with your claim. However, do not go in alone, make sure your attorney is there with you.
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You are asking two questions: 1) What relief can I realistically seek in this case? 2) What should I expect at mediation? I will answer the second since the question is posted in mediation. The mediator will give an opening statement to tell you that he or she is neutral and will keep confidences confidential, and a bit more about the process. Some mediators will tell you about themselves. Typically each side gives a short statement that explains their position (to the extent they want to) to the other side. The mediator will usually separate the parties at some point and caucus -- talk to each side alone. Generally a mediator will try to help parties see the merits of compromise, including possible weaknesses in their own positions, and risks of going forward. Often the parties will make counteroffers to each other. If they manage to meet in the middle somewhere, the agreement is reduced to writing and the parties sign it. If they don't the mediator will report an impasse and generally no one can tell the court what was said at mediation.
There is no substitute for the professional advice of an attorney who knows your case and represents you. My post is not, and may not be relied on as, legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Best wishes for a just and expeditious resolution.
I agree with Kathryn above. In mediation, you can ask for the sun, moon and the stars, knowing that the other party will likely negotiate you down and you will end up somewhere in the middle. I do not recommend this approach however. Making a laundry list of requests may indicate your lack of interest in coming to a reasonable settlement.
I recommend beginning with your concerns regarding being denied two promotions for which you were qualified and demanding explanations. An attorney will be able to directly communicate your rights for back pay and forward pay as a result of the injustice. Prior to entering the mediation, do your homework on the issue, consult an attorney, and determine what your bottom line is.
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