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What is Employment Law Mediation?

Employment law disputes can often be extremely contentious. These cases can often require more than a year of investigation and then potentially more time in trials and appeals. This process can be excessively expensive and time consuming for both parties. However, there are other forms of legal dispute resolution that can be far less costly, such as mediation

Mediation is an informal and confidential way for people to resolve disputes with the help of a neutral mediator who is trained to help people discuss their differences. The mediator is not responsible for assigning blame, but rather seeks to aid the parties come to their own solution. The mediator helps the parties to reach a resolution on the claim by:

  • Facilitating discussion and communication between the parties;
  • Helping to uncover facts and details related to the claim;
  • Proposing solutions for the parties; and
  • Ensuring that both sides’ interests are fully addressed.

When a claim is filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), before sending the case to an investigator, the EEOC will contact both the employer and the employee to see if the parties would be willing to try mediation. 

Mediation is completely voluntary and requires both parties to consent to the process. If successful, mediation resolves employment issues in less than 3 months on average, saving both parties significantly in attorneys fees and court costs.

What Types of Claims Can Be Mediated?

Nearly any type of employment law dispute can be mediated, so long as the parties are willing and able to cooperate with one another. Employment law mediation is common for:

On the other hand, employment law matters that involve serious federal violations, such as discrimination, may require a formal investigation by a government agency and can result in a lawsuit. Thus, mediation may not be an option in such cases.

What if Mediation Does Not Resolve the Dispute?

In some cases, mediation can leave some issues or matters unresolved. For instance, the parties might not be able to agree on a suitable remedy or a suitable settlement amount. In such cases, the parties may need to address the remaining matters in court.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Employment Law Mediation Issues?

Although mediation generally occurs out of court, the process will usually require the oversight and guidance of an experienced employment lawyer. A skilled employment attorney can help evaluate your case and determine if mediation would be appropriate. In addition, an attorney can provide you with legal advice, gather physical evidence, depose witnesses and advocate for you during mediation, court litigation, or any other legal proceeding.

Photo of page author John Kirby

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 11-30-2017 01:37 PM PST

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