Beware of the "Fine Print": Settlement Agreements in FEHA Cases

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The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA, Government Code Section 12940 et seq.) permits claims of sexual harassment, sex discrimination, racial discrimination, retaliation, and other related assertions. When such an action is settled, the tendency of claimant’s counsel may be to view the subsequently prepared written release and settlement agreement, execution of which will almost certainly be a condition of the settlement, to be a mere formality.

However, agreement upon a monetary settlement to resolve an FEHA case is, for better or worse, only the beginning of the necessary settlement negotiations between the claimant’s counsel and the employer’s counsel. Matters of importance to the claimant’s vocational, financial and even personal life lurk in that settlement agreement.

Discussed in this document are some “transactional” issues that typically arise in, and become terms of, written settlement agreements in FEHA cases.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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