Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) that is offered by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as an alternative to the traditional investigative or litigation process. Mediation is an informal process in which a neutral third party assists the opposing parties to reach a voluntary, negotiated resolution of a charge of discrimination.
- The decision to mediate is completely voluntary for the charging party and the employer.
- Mediation gives the parties the opportunity to discuss the issues raised in the charge, clear up misunderstandings, determine the underlying interests or concerns, find areas of agreement and, ultimately, to incorporate those areas of agreement into resolutions.
- A mediator does not resolve the charge or impose a decision on the parties. Instead, the mediator helps the parties to agree on a mutually acceptable resolution.
- The mediation process is strictly confidential.
- Information disclosed during mediation will not be revealed to anyone, including other EEOC employees.