State Employment Mediation

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What is State Employment Mediation?

State employment mediation is a type of legal method and tool for resolving many types of workplace disputes.  In general, mediation involves the intervention of a neutral third party mediator who will encourage communication between the conflicting parties.  The mediator’s aim is to help the parties share information with one another and possibly reach some sort of conclusion regarding the conflict.

In an employment law setting, this is usually a conflict between the employer and an employee (as when the case involves employment discrimination).  In some cases, the mediation may be required for conflicts between employees, such as in a case involving harassment. 

What Occurs During State Employment Mediation?

In most cases, workplace disputes are resolved through the intervention of a state employment rights agency.  The agency conducts an investigation into the complaint after it is filed.  Part of this investigation may involve mediation.  Thus, the mediator is often a representative of the state employment agency.

During mediation, the parties are encouraged to disclose their versions of the conflict with one another.  They should recite facts, dates, witnesses, and other important information that can help uncover what exactly happened.  The parties are encouraged to discuss these matters in a way that is cooperative and conducive to reaching an agreement.  The mediator helps this by asking questions between the parties and facilitating the dialogue.

The statements and conclusions from the employment mediation session may be recorded into a transcript.  This is a written record of the dialogue, and is often submitted to a legal court as evidence.  In some cases, mediation alone can help the parties resolve their employment dispute.  In a private lawsuit, an attorney or other figure may act as mediator rather than a state-operated agency. 

Is State Employment Mediation Required?

State employment mediation is typically only suggested, and is not mandatory.  If the parties are unable or are unwilling to cooperate with one another, mediation is not forced upon them.  Instead, alternative options may be pursued, such as continued investigation by the agency, or by instituting legal action in a court of law.

Mediation is commonly suggested for disputes involving: discrimination, harassment, wage/hour/overtime disputes, union disputes, and wrongful termination. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for State Employment Mediation?

State employment mediation generally requires the representation and assistance of a qualified employment attorney.  Your lawyer will be able to provide you with the guidance needed to handle mediation properly and effectively.  Also, if your case needs further review in court, your lawyer will be able to represent you during official court proceedings. 

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Last Modified: 05-06-2014 11:08 AM PDT

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