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What Occurs in EEOC Conciliation?


The EEOC May Offer You the Opportunity for Conciliation Before Dismissing Your Charge.

You have received a Letter of Conciliation. What does that mean? A Letter of Conciliation means the EEOC found evidence to support your claim of discrimination or sexual harassment. More than evidence, they found “reasonable cause” that discrimination occurred.

As a victim of employment discrimination or sexual harassment, you have the right to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC will conduct an investigation and render a decision regarding your next steps. One of these steps may be conciliation. Conciliation allows you to settle your claim without a lengthy and costly court proceeding.

What Is an EEOC Conciliation?

Conciliation is an EEOC form of mediation or alternative dispute resolution. The conciliation gets offered to you if the EEOC finds evidence of discrimination or sexual harassment through their investigation. You can choose to deny conciliation and file your complaint in federal court. However, if you choose to continue with conciliation, you will go through the EEOC process.

What Is the Process of an EEOC Charge?

As the victim of employment discrimination or sexual harassment, you have the right to seek compensation. Many times that begins with filing a charge with the EEOC. An EEOC charge can be filed online, in person, or through US Mail.

The Interview

Once the EEOC receives your charge, an intake specialist will schedule an interview with you. The specialist will also notify your employer of the charge and interview them to get the other side of the story.

The Investigation

Once you and your employer complete your interviews, the investigation can proceed. The EEOC will ask for any supporting documents you may have. They will speak with witnesses. They may even visit your worksite.


During this time, you will have the option to mediate your charge with your employer and settle your case. However, it is not mandatory. The EEOC will offer mediation at the beginning of the process. However, you can request it at any time throughout the process.

The EEOC Determination

After the investigation, the EEOC will issue its determination. You may receive a Dismissal of Notice of Rights. This letter states that the EEOC found no evidence to support your claim of discrimination or harassment.

You may get a Letter of Determination. This letter says that the EEOC investigator either found evidence to support your claim or the investigation was inconclusive.

If the finding was inconclusive, you will receive the Notice of Right to Sue, which provides you the right to file suit in federal court. If the EEOC found evidence of discrimination or sexual harassment, you will receive a Conciliation letter.

What Is the Process of an EEOC Conciliation?

The process of conciliation begins with an explanation. The EEOC will explain to you and your employer what evidence they found that led to the Letter of Determination. Then, the EEOC will attempt to settle with your employer. The EEOC takes on the role of your representation for the conciliation process.

The Settlement Process

Your employer may choose to agree to a settlement. A settlement may be financial. It can also result in enforceable actions, such as changing policies and procedures. The EEOC will work with your employer and try to complete the settlement process.

What Happens If Your Employer Does Not Accept Settlement?

As with any legal process, your employer is entitled to his day in court. This entitlement means it is within the employer’s rights to deny the settlement offer.

If your employer denies the settlement offer, one of two things may happen:

  1. The EEOC will file litigation against the employer.
  2. The EEOC will issue you a Notice of the Right to Sue.

The EEOC Litigation

The EEOC rarely files litigation. As a matter of fact, they may file a lawsuit in 8% of the total unresolved conciliation cases. If the charge is severe or the case will make a large impact on the future of how the EEOC makes decisions, it will choose to file the lawsuit on your behalf. Doing so allows them to work in the interest of the public.

The Notice of the Right to Sue

If the EEOC charge is not severe or the findings will not affect the greater good, the EEOC will issue you a Right to Sue Letter. When you receive the letter, you have 90 days to file your discrimination or harassment lawsuit without the EEOC’s further involvement.

Can an EEOC Representation Attorney Help You with the Conciliation Process?

Conciliation is a legal, binding proceeding. Therefore, you should have an attorney to guide you through the process. Your attorney can advise you whether you should consider conciliation or move forward with a federal lawsuit. They can ensure you do not give up your rights to justice and compensation in the process.

Contact our Experienced EEOC Lawyers to Help with Your EEOC Charge from the Beginning

You have the right to file an EEOC charge. You also have the right to hire an attorney to navigate the process on your behalf. Your attorney can file your charge and handle all issues that arise throughout this period. If you are the victim of employment discrimination or sexual harassment, the experienced sexual harassment and employment discrimination attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group can help.

Did You File an EEOC Charge for Discrimination or Sexual Harassment? Did the EEOC Offer Conciliation to Settle Your Charge? Please Call Us at 800.807.2209 to Learn More About Your Rights.

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