Mediation is a pretrial strategy that is designed to settle disputes before parties embark on a lengthy and often costly trial. Mediation is employed in many different contexts and is often one of the first methods of resolution in Texas employment discrimination cases. In fact, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has implemented mediation programs as one of the first steps to resolving employment discrimination lawsuits.
The mediation process allows the two parties to attempt to resolve their issues and points of contention with the assistance of a trained and neutral third-party. Mediation is an appropriate step in many types of cases that do not involve complex evidentiary or procedural issues. Mediators are trained in the art of negotiation, effective listening, and conflict resolution. In certain instances, the mediator is a trained attorney; however, they are prohibited from providing legal advice while in their mediator role.
The Three Main Types of Mediation
Generally, there are three schools of thought in regards to mediation: facilitative, evaluative, and transformative. In short, during facilitative mediation the mediator does not provide any type of opinion and only facilitates a discussion between the parties. During evaluative mediation, the mediator will provide information regarding the likelihood of success and some potential, reasonable terms of resolution. Finally, during transformative mediation, the main objective is to change the parties’ relationship with one another and allow them to successfully resolve the dispute.
In employment discrimination cases, the most frequently employed technique is facilitative or evaluative mediation. In a situation where the employee is still employed or wishes to remain employed, the transformative technique may be beneficial.
The Process of Mediation
In most mediation conferences, a mediator will explain all relevant information to the parties. Both parties will be able to provide their account of the events that led to the present state, and the mediator will identify the issues that need to be resolved. If a settlement is reached, the written settlement will be signed by both parties. If, for some reason, a settlement cannot be reached and both parties employed good faith, there are no penalties for failing to come to a resolution.
Benefits of Mediation
In many instances, companies immediately begin litigation proceedings without even thinking about mediation. However, mediation is less costly, quicker, and less emotionally daunting than litigation. In many cases when an employee is terminated and wants to pursue an employment case against their employer, it is often most beneficial to both parties to resolve the matter as efficiently and effectively as possible. Mediation is less costly and time-consuming than litigation because it typically avoids the expenses, court fees, and significant time-investment that often comes with a lengthy litigation process . In sum, mediation provides the parties an alternative, less contentious, effective way to efficiently resolve disputes.
Have You Been Considering Filing an Employment Discrimination Lawsuit in Texas?
If you have suffered discrimination or another wrong during your course of employment, you may consider mediation as a way to successfully resolve your claims. The employment law attorneys at Rob Wiley, P.C. have decades of combined experience handling all stages of employment lawsuits, including those handled through mediation. We can assist you in evaluating your courses of action and help you through the mediation process. Contact the office of Rob Wiley at 214-528-6500 to schedule your free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
The Intersection Between Title VII and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Rules Regarding Accent Discrimination, Dallas Employment Lawyer Blog, July 6, 2018.
Can Texas Employers Make Compensation Decisions Based on Race?, Dallas Employment Lawyer Blog, August 9, 2018.