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Mediation Techniques in Employment Disputes

April 23, 2012
Mediation Techniques in Employment Disputes Mediation Techniques in Employment Disputes James McElroy

Increased Charges in Lawsuits.
Two related developments are occurring in the American workforce – on the one hand we are seeing a record high number of employment disputes evidenced by the large number of charges and lawsuits filed under Federal and State employment laws. Also internal employer grievance procedures are being taxed with complaints about employee treatment that may or may not be related to sex, race or age discrimination covered by law.

Increased Charges in Lawsuits.
Two related developments are occurring in the American workforce – on the one hand we are seeing a record high number of employment disputes evidenced by the large number of charges and lawsuits filed under Federal and State employment laws. Also internal employer grievance procedures are being taxed with complaints about employee treatment that may or may not be related to sex, race or age discrimination covered by law.

Increased Employer/Employee Cooperation.
Many employers are moving toward closer cooperation with their employees, work teams, quality circles and other employer involvement procedures are allowing management and workers to work interactively to solve problems and decide how the workplace should be organized. As a result employers are moving away from confrontation toward cooperative problem solving.

Increased Use of Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures.
Both of these trends have caused employers to seek out more effective use of resolving workplace disputes. These are often called alternative dispute resolution procedures. are being explored in order to avoid more formal procedures such as lawsuits or arbitration which often involve confrontation, long delays and inordinate expense. Further, employers and employees are looking for dispute mechanisms that give them a significant degree of control over the outcome rather than having a judge, jury or arbitrator dictate the outcome of a dispute. Mediation is attractive because it fulfills many of these needs. The parties mutually agree to meeting with a professional mediator who is trained to help people with differing interests reach a mutually acceptable agreement. The mediator does not decide the case and the parties are free to agree to the terms of a settlement or walk away from it if they cannot agree.

Company and Agency Mediation.
Many companies have adopted internal mediation programs or are exploring such programs. Also, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the U.S. Labor Department and many state fair employment practice agencies are asking employers and charging parties to take part in mediation to resolve charges. The EEOC has adopted a formal policy to use mediation as part of its charge processing procedures. Local EEOC offices have adopted mediation plans tailored to the needs of the specific offices.

Last modified on Wednesday, 27 February 2013 00:09
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