“Probable Cause” at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD)

If you received a probable cause finding at the the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), it is important to understand what this means.

First and foremost, the regulations on the rules of procedure at MCAD are contained in 804 CMR 1.00. The relevant provision for probable cause is 804 CMR 1:08 (f), which states, as follows:

“(f) Causal Determinations.

  1. Probable Cause [“PC”]. A determination of probable cause shall be made when the
    Investigating Commissioner concludes after investigation of the complaint that there is
    sufficient evidence upon which a fact-finder could form a reasonable belief that it is more probable than not that respondent committed an unlawful practice. Disputes involving genuine issues of material fact shall be reserved for a fact-finder at public hearing.”

Second, it is extremely important to understand that a PC finding does not mean that you won your case. Essentially, a PC finding at MCAD means that there is sufficient evidence concerning your case to proceed to trial. The next step is to begin preparing for trial which is one of the most difficult parts of your case.

Third, a PC finding does not necessarily mean that you have a stronger case than your employer. Rather, the employer will now begin preparing to defend itself at trial. Preparing for trial means putting together a case that gives you the best chance at success. Understanding how your evidence should be presented at trial is critical.

A PC finding finally gives you the credibility that what happened to you in the workplace may have violated the law, and therefore, harmed you.

Please call Attorney Murphy at (617) 921-8932 if you have any questions or wish to discuss your case.

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