What if I ultimately decide that I don`t want to be part of a consent decree?
In a class action Title VII consent decree an employee will ask the judge to “certify a class.” For example, you may be taking active steps to alleviate discrimination that all female accountants are facing in your workplace, so you will want the consent decree to help these women and future women. A judge will decide whether to approve a class based on factors like the amount of employees, similarities in their stories, and protection of their interests.
You don’t have to agree to a consent decree. However, if you decide this, the EEOC will not (in any capacity) help you resolve issues that the consent decree you rejected would have solved. For example, if women at your workplace enter into a consent decree to stop sexual harassment and you decide not to participate, the EEOC will not help you with a separate consent decree, lawsuit, etc. for the same problem.
If you still want to be excluded from a class, you can sign a request for exclusion form. You can officially exclude yourself even if you were a party to the original lawsuit that is being resolved by a consent decree. You will not be forced to use this method of dispute resolution.
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