If Conciliation fails you will receive a letter in the mail telling you the date, time, and place of your Pre-Hearing Conference.
There are a number of things that will occur at this conference that will involve you, the Hearing Examiner (who is the person making a decision as to whether or not discrimination happened), a Conciliator, and the other party.
Here are some topics you can expect to discuss at the Pre-Hearing Conference:
You will have the opportunity to settle your case. Be prepared to discuss the possibility of settlement and the minimum things the other party would have to agree to for this to happen.
- Issues that will be examined during the hearing:
Come ready to state the issue(s) of the case as you understand them. A legal explanation of your issue is in your Initial Determination.
- Details of the hearing:
You will talk about a number of things-such as the number of witnesses you might have, how many days will be needed for the Hearing, and any documents you might need to obtain. The process of gathering information from the other party is called “Discovery.” To understand how to legally collect facts that can be used during the Hearing read our pamphlets Gathering Information Before Your Hearing on the Merits: The Discovery Process and Gathering Information Before Your Hearing on the Merits: Preparing Witnesses. Finding information that will help support your case is your responsibility.
Gathering Evidence & Deadlines
The process of gathering information from the other party is called “Discovery.”
Finding information that will help support your case is your responsibility.
Dates will be set for both the first and the final exchange of witness lists. The final exchange of lists usually happens about four weeks before the Hearing. If your list is missing the name of some of your potential witnesses, you may not be allowed to have their statements considered at the Hearing. The only exception to this rule is if you can show that there is good reason why you could not include their names on your list.
In addition to documenting important events and comments, it helps your case if you find people who witnessed the discrimination you experienced. The Commission does not call these witnesses.
It is your responsibility to subpoena them. To learn more about how to subpoena your witnesses and collect statements (called depositions) from the other party’s witnesses read our brochure Gathering Information Before Your Hearing on the Merits: Preparing Witnesses.
Also, the Hearing Examiner will set a deadline for the last possible time both parties may add exhibits. Exhibits are any documents or other physical evidence that you want the Hearing Examiner to consider when making his/her decision. Some examples of exhibits that you may want to collect are paychecks, work schedules, applications, and photo's etc.
To learn more about collecting exhibits read our brochure Gathering Information Before Your Hearing on the Merits: The Discovery Process.
You must provide a copy of any exhibits to the Hearing Examiner and the other party before the deadline.