How is a consent decree written?


Once you have decided which of the above options to take (EEOC, private lawsuit, state/local agency) then you should approach the consent decree process like other normal contracts.


The EEOC or your private lawyer will listen to your complaints and concerns. They will likely draft a complaint to accompany your proposed consent decree to the court. Your lawyer may also decide to draft an initial consent decree with some terms and conditions (i.e. “provisions”) that will discourage future discrimination and possibly compensate you. This documentation can then be given to your employer for review. It is up to you how involved you are in this part of the process, but the more actively you participate the more likely your needs will be met.


As an employee who is interested in entering into a consent decree, you can approach your employer with a proposed consent decree.


Your employer’s legal team may work directly with yours during this time, or they may wait for your draft and try to negotiate and draft provisions, as they desire.


Both you and your employer must keep in mind that your proposed consent decree must be fair and follow the applicable laws (like Title VII).


If your employer does not agree to your proposed consent decree or does not want to enter into a consent decree immediately you may consider bringing a lawsuit and then return to suggesting a consent decree during the trial. A consent decree can be entered any time before a final judgment is made in your case (in other words, any time during on-going litigation).


Note: If your case is against a state or local government the Department of Justice is the agency that will handle your Title VII case.


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