Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolutions: it is an alternative to resolving a case in court. It is appealing to both parties because it is a private process, it is expeditious, and it saves parties’ resources.
In a context of employment relations, a mediation is often offered as a possibility to resolve a controversy either by an employer as a part of the employment contract or a collective bargaining contract; or by EEOC after the charge is filed with the EEOC; or it may be agreed upon by the parties even after the case is already filed with the court.
Mediation As A Clause Of The Collective Bargaining Agreement
Many large employers who work with unions opt nowadays to include a mandatory arbitration/mediation clause in the collective bargaining agreement. While for many years the enforceability of such clauses was problematic, the recent case law supported the validity of such a provision. At the same time, the law is not settled yet, and every word and details of the case matter when it comes to the question of validity and enforceability of mandatory mediation/arbitration provision. Mediation is always should be considered as a positive, rather than negative, as it helps the parties to go over their cases with the help of a neutral person (an arbitrator or mediator).
Mediation At The EEOC Level
Often, after the charge is filed with the EEOC, the EEOC will offer parties to utilize its free mediation program which is aimed at early resolution of the employment discrimination cases. It is an effective process that helps both parties to exchange their strong points and anticipated evidence, and of course provides a chance to close or settle the case as soon as possible.
Mediation After The Case Is Filed With The Court
Mediation is a process parties can turn to at any stage of the proceedings. Often, after the case is filed with a Federal court, the judge assigned to the case offers the parties to utilize in-court free mediation program. Another popular option is a private, paid mediation.
Mediation is in most cases is a voluntarily process, meaning that the parties agree to participate in it by their own will. Parties also often agree on the person who will be acting as a mediator. A mediator is a neutral participate with the goal of helping the parties to come to an agreement.
It is important to remember that at a mediation, like at any settlement process, neither parties
“wins” the case: a settlement is reached when both parties are willing to forego some of their demands/expectorations.