Litigation negatively impacts both sides of the case, even in employment discrimination cases.
Businesses must spend time, money and resources throughout the process, and the process could take years.
For employees, justice is deferred until the litigation is done, which could, again, take years or decades. If you were wrongfully terminated for a discriminatory reason, your compensation will be delayed for this entire time, which can cause severe financial hardships.
This is why the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has a Mediation Program.
Mediation is commonly accepted process used throughout the word as an alternative to litigation.
The EEOC Mediation Program follows all the hallmarks of mediation. It is voluntary, informal and has an independent, third-party mediator (trained by the EEOC) to facilitate a settlement between the employer and employee. The mediator does not make any findings of facts, mandate a settlement, or make any sort of determination.
When does it start?
The EEOC Mediation Program can be initiated at just about any level of the EEOC charge. You will first get the offer at the initial filing, and you will likely be asked throughout the process whether you want to utilize the process. Either party can ask for it, but both parties must agree to start the process.
A record of success
The EEOC mediation process is quick. It generally only takes about 3-4 hours to either come to a settlement or determine that settlement is not possible. Why? Because mediators do not do an investigation. Their only goal is to facilitate settlement, and they have an almost 75% settlement rate.
Not for everyone
Of course, the EEOC Mediation program is not for every case. Talk with your California employment law attorney before volunteering to take part in the process. Your attorney can advise you on whether your case is appropriate for the mediation process, and your attorney can participate with you as well.