§ 28-5-17. Conciliation of charges of unlawful practices.
(a) Upon the commission's own initiative or whenever an aggrieved individual or an organization chartered for the purpose of combating discrimination, racism, or of safeguarding civil liberties, or of promoting full, free, or equal employment opportunities, that individual or organization being subsequently referred to as the complainant, makes a charge to the commission that any employer, employment agency, labor organization, or person, subsequently referred to as the respondent, has engaged or is engaging in unlawful employment practices and that the unlawful employment practices have occurred, have terminated, or have been applied to affect adversely the person aggrieved, whichever is later, within one year, the commission may initiate a preliminary investigation.
(b) If the commission determines after the investigation that it is probable that unlawful employment practices have been or are being engaged in, it shall endeavor to eliminate the unlawful employment practices by informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion, including a conciliation agreement. The terms of the conciliation agreement shall include provisions requiring the respondent to refrain from the commission of unlawful discriminatory practices in the future and may contain any further provisions that may be agreed upon by the investigating commissioner and the respondent, including a provision for the entry in superior court of a consent decree embodying the terms of the conciliation agreement. Nothing said or done during these endeavors may be used as evidence in any subsequent proceeding.
(c) If, after an investigation and conference, the commission is satisfied that any unlawful employment practice of the respondent will be eliminated, it may, with the consent of the complainant, treat the charge as conciliated, and entry of that disposition shall be made on the records of the commission.
(d) The commission shall not enter a consent order or conciliation agreement settling claims of discrimination in an action or proceeding under this chapter unless the parties and their counsel attest that a waiver of all or substantially all attorneys' fees was not compelled as a condition of the settlement.
(P.L. 1949, ch. 2181, § 8; G.L. 1956, § 28-5-17; P.L. 1974, ch. 259, § 3; P.L. 1991, ch. 135, § 2; P.L. 1991, ch. 343, § 2; P.L. 1996, ch. 159, § 1.)