Unilateral settlement

We will consider a unilateral settlement offer at any time after the complaint has been issued.


  1. A respondent can make a unilateral settlement offer (USO) to the DLR Director after unsuccessfully presenting it to the charging party.
  2. The DLR Director will notify the hearing officer assigned to the case that there is a USO, but will not disclose the terms of the offer.
  3. The Director will review the terms of the USO and may contact the respondent to discuss the existing terms or negotiate new terms.
  4. The specific terms of a USO will vary for each case, but in general, it should include the following:
    1. Payment of any damages that the respondent would owe if it lost the case, although the Director may consider a payment of less than 100% damages, but in no circumstances can a USO include less than 80% of damages;
    2. An agreement to return to the status quo ante, pending bargaining, which may include restoration of unlawfully changed practices or separated employees;
    3. Where appropriate, an agreement to bargain;
    4. An agreement to post an appropriate notice to employees. The notice will state that it is posted pursuant to a settlement. The Director may consider a USO in which the notice does not require admission of violations or include a non-admission clause.
  5. If the Director is inclined to accept the USO as offered/negotiated, the Director will issue a notice to the charging party inviting the charging party to enter into the settlement agreement or show cause why the Director should not accept the settlement agreement.
  6. After the Director reviews the charging party's show cause response, should he believe that negotiating new terms is necessary, he may contact the respondent to discuss changing the USO.
  7. If the charging party agrees to the settlement agreement, it will be considered a settlement agreement between the charging parties and the charging party will be required to withdraw the charge.
  8. If the charging party declines to accept the USO and the Director concludes that the charging party's objections do not preclude approving the USO, the Director will approve the USO as a unilateral settlement agreement and the charge will be dismissed, and any complaints withdrawn based on the terms of the agreement. The dismissal letter will include a brief statement of the reasons for the approval and contain the standard appeal language.
  9. A copy of the approved settlement agreement will be attached to the dismissal letter. The unilateral settlement agreement may contain a non-admission clause and will include the consequences of non-compliance. Because the settlement agreement is between the DLR and the respondent, it will not contain terms negotiated between the charging party and the respondent.
  10. Generally, the DLR will not accept partial settlements of a multi-count complaint.
  11. If the respondent fails to comply with the agreement, the complaint will be reinstated, the provisions of the complaint will be deemed admitted, and the only issue to be litigated will be the respondent's compliance with the agreement. In no event can the respondent resurrect and litigate the original case if it fails to comply with the agreement.


Help Us Improve Mass.gov with your feedback