After receipt and initial review of the Charge, the Division may schedule an In-Person Investigation Conference (In-Person Investigation) before a duly authorized agent of the Division (Investigator). 456 CMR 15.04.

1. PURPOSE. The purpose of the In-Person Investigation is to determine whether or not probable cause exists to issue a Complaint.

2. REPRESENTATION BY COUNSEL. Any party present at the In-Person Investigation may be represented by counsel or by an authorized representative. 456 CMR 12.05.

3. BURDEN OF PROOF. The Charging Party has the burden of presenting sufficient facts to support a finding of "probable cause" by the Investigator that the Respondent has violated the law.

4. INFORMAL CONFERENCE. The In-Person Investigation is an informal conference at which time the Investigator will afford each party a full and fair opportunity to present its position regarding the Charge.

5. ATTENDANCE OF THE PARTIES. Although any party may appear through counsel or an authorized representative, the Division Investigator will expect the parties to appear accompanied by individuals with first hand knowledge of the facts and circumstances related to the Charge.

6. SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTS. The Division does not require or indeed encourage the submission of position statements. Nevertheless, parties may submit relevant documents for consideration by the Investigator. Parties who submit documents should do so well in advance of the In-Person Investigation and must serve copies of all submissions on all other parties in accordance with 456 CMR 12.02. Absent good cause, the Investigator will not accept or consider additional submissions after she or he has declared that the Investigation is closed.

7. INVESTIGATION IN ABSENCE OF RESPONDENT. If the Respondent chooses not to file a response to the Charge, not to attend the In-Person Investigation or otherwise not to participate in the investigation, the Investigator will conduct the In-Person Investigation and make a probable cause determination based solely on the basis of the Charging Party's initial Charge of Prohibited Practice and any other evidence presented by the Charging Party.

8. RECORD. The record will consist of (1) the Charge of Prohibited Practice; (2) the Respondent's initial response (456 CMR 15.02); (3) all documentary evidence submitted by the parties during the Investigation and (4) the Investigator's written decision.