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Should I go to court or accept mediation for an employment discrimination complaint?

Nantucket, MA |

I am a permanent resident of the United States pending full citizenship. I went to work for brief temporary employment a company. When a full-time permanent position opened during this time I was told that the manager was thinking of another individual to fill the job. I went back to my regular job. They hired two white people to fill the job. The company then asked me to work two more times temporarily before asking me to come work for them. They did not say as a permanent position and when I agreed they kept me as a seasonal employee without holiday or vacation or benefit package that permanent employees receive. After filing a complaint they have given me a permanent position and offered me a small settlement. I refused the settlement and the company has now requested mediation.

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Attorney answers 4


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You need a lawyer to represent you in this matter. A good employment lawyer will be able to evaluate how much you would get if you went to court and whether the settlement is enough to make it worth your while to not go to court. Also, a lawyer may be able to get you more than you could get on your own. Please call me if you would like to discuss your case.


Based upon the facts you have provided, there is not enough information to form a solid analysis of your claim. You should consult with an experienced employment discrimination lawyer in Massachusetts who is familiar with MCAD proceedings and can advise you as the likely success of your case should you either not attend the mediation, or not accept a settlement at that stage. Additionally, it is not clear from your facts if the case is still at the MCAD, EEOC or in state or federal court. The venue that you chose can have a great impact on your case and you need to speak to a lawyer who understands this.


Unless the company had you sign an agreement to arbitrate or mediate any employment claim, you are not required to mediate anything, or settle for less than you believe is the correct value of the case. You do not say where you filed a complaint. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) has a mediation/conciliation option which occurs before full litigation begins. I assume the employer made the offer as part of this process. You should ask an employment lawyer to review your complaint and analyze the existing offer. You do not want to sign away all your rights without making a fully informed decision. As the saying goes: Don't leave money on the table.

This information should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.