ADR is a process in which a third party neutral assists the disputants in reaching an amicable resolution through the use of various techniques. ADR describes a variety of approaches to resolve conflict which avoid the cost, delay, and unpredictability of the traditional adjudicatory processes while at the same time improving workplace communication and morale.
In 1990, the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act (ADRA) required each federal agency to adopt a policy on ADR use. In 1996, ADRA was reenacted as the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996 (ADR Act). In 2000, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) required all federal agencies to establish or make available an ADR program during the pre-complaint and formal complaint stages of the EEO process. Additionally, EEOCs regulation, 29 C.F.R. § 1614.603, requires agencies to make reasonable efforts to voluntarily settle EEO discrimination complaints as early as possible in, and throughout, the administrative process.
This information is designed to help federal employees and applicants better understand ADR as it is used to resolve discrimination complaints. In addition to basic information on ADR, links are provided to many other federal government programs and private organizations using a variety of ADR techniques to resolve workplace disputes.