Civil Rights Division Conciliation
Conciliation is a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that can help parties who are involved in a discrimination charge reach a settlement agreement. If the Colorado Civil Rights Division Director makes a probable cause finding for a charge of discrimination, the Charging Party and the Respondent are required by Colorado law to participate in conciliation.
After CCRD’s investigation of a charge of discrimination, parties are required to participate in mandatory mediation (called "conciliation") if the CCRD Director makes a probable cause determination. Our conciliators help parties in their attempts to reach a settlement agreement and vindicate the public interest.
Conciliation is a practical and useful form of ADR that is available at no cost to parties involved in charges of discrimination. During conciliation, parties are given the opportunity to try and reach a mutually acceptable settlement in a controlled setting with the aid of a neutral CCRD conciliator.
Although not required, reaching a settlement during conciliation has its advantages. These benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Saving time and costs
- Avoiding hearings or potential court proceedings
- Providing input in resolving a charge of discrimination
Conciliation Ground Rules and Basics
It is important that parties prepare for conciliation. Before conciliation, we suggest that parties think about their goals for conciliation and come to the meeting with an open mind and flexibility about the potential results. Conciliation focuses on resolution and moving forward from the determination of probable cause.
Parties who should participate in conciliation include those with settlement authority and the parties’ attorneys, if represented. The parties may decide to bring additional individuals to conciliation for support, but the conciliator decides whether or not those additional individuals will be allowed to participate in conciliation. Our conciliators can facilitate conciliation sessions with all parties together, in separate conference rooms, or a combination of both based upon the parties’ preferences and the conciliator’s discretion.
All parties have the right to have legal counsel present during the conciliation; however, CCRD does not provide attorneys or legal counsel for the parties. The conciliator cannot provide legal advice to either party. Our conciliators do not make decisions about the outcome of the case, weigh evidence, or take testimony. If the parties do not reach a settlement agreement during conciliation, the case will proceed to the Civil Rights Commission to determine if it will be set for a hearing before an administrative law judge with the involvement of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.
For additional information about conciliation, please contact us.