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Can I mediate my EEOC complaint?

Can I mediate my EEOC complaint?

One thing that many businesses worry about is discrimination business litigation, like that involving the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Employment civil rights cases can take years, which means devoting resources to fighting the complaint, potentially, for years. Even after the EEOC makes a finding, the case can be taken before a district court or an EEOC judge, which can both be appealed. This is why many businesses look to the EEOC Mediation program to resolve these business litigation disputes as quickly as possible.

EEOC Mediation Program

Most, if not all, businesses are familial with mediation as a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution, and the EEOC Mediation Program is no different than most other forms of mediation. The mediator is a neutral third-party that can be an internal or external mediator, but either way, they are completely independent of the EEOC’s other functions, like investigation and litigation. Like other mediation programs, the EEOC Mediation Program is also 100% confidential, and all the parties must agree to this in writing before mediation begins. Truly, the goal is to reconcile and find a solution, and mediations usually only take about 3 or 4 hours with over a 70% success rate. Though, the more complicated or egregious the charge, the more time consuming the mediation may become.

Is it required?

Unlike some courts that mandate mediation, the EEOC’s program is not mandatory. Indeed, while it may be offered at the beginning of the complaint process, it can be asked for at any time, even after a finding is made. However, both parties must agree to enter the process.

Who is part of the mediation?

The charging or aggrieved party and their lawyer, if they have hired one, along with the employer and their attorney, if they have one. Though, the employer representative should know or be familiar with the facts of the charges, and the representative must have the authority to settle the charge. As for either side’s attorney, the mediator decides their role in the mediation, and the mediator may ask the lawyers not to speak for their client and only provide counsel. The mediator should be notified prior to the initial mediation session if lawyers will be present.

For Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, employers facing an EEOC charge, they should consult with their attorney about the EEOC Mediation Program. It may be a much cheaper way to resolve a complaint.