Mediation, like arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution designed to help parties avoid litigation. It is one way to resolve your legal claim without the emotional stress and prolonged process that traditional litigation entails. It also involves a much lower financial commitment. Even if you litigate a case on a contingency basis, meaning that you do not have to pay attorney fees upfront, there are various costs involved in filing motions and other documents with the court, which do not apply in mediation.
While mediation is a possibility for almost any case, it is commonly used when claims are filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is responsible for enforcing federal employment nondiscrimination laws. If an employee wishes to sue an employer for discrimination under federal law, it is often a requirement that the employee file a claim with this agency prior to filing a lawsuit in court. The experienced New York employment discrimination attorneys at Phillips & Associates are well versed in all stages of this process.EEOC Mediation
Mediation can occur at any point during a case, whether the EEOC has arranged for it or not. Shortly after a claim is filed with the EEOC, and the agency will contact both parties to attempt to arrange for mediation at least once, but the decision of whether or not to participate is completely voluntary. Mediation sessions are completely confidential, and are not tape-recorded or transcribed. Additionally, mediators within the EEOC are only responsible for mediating cases, rather than being involved in other aspects of EEOC claim resolution.
However, unlike some other types of mediation, under the EEOC’s procedure, a written signed agreement reached under mediation is enforceable in court, similar to any other contractual agreement.
The EEOC mediation program is an informal way to attempt to resolve a discrimination charge, using an independent mediator with experience in this area of the law. Mediation not only avoids the costs and delays associated with litigation, but can also allow the parties to work creatively to fashion a remedy that is mutually acceptable.
If mediation is not successful, the charge proceeds like any other charge of discrimination. This means that you do not waive your rights to file a suit should the mediation not turn out in your favor. It can be helpful to think of mediation as a way of trying to resolve things as amicably as possible, while realizing that you are not obligated to agree to anything. Your attorney may also be able to get a better sense of your employer’s case during mediation, even if those proceedings do not resolve the dispute.Phillips & Associates: Experienced Mediation Lawyers
In mediation and other EEOC proceedings, it is very helpful to be represented throughout the process by an experienced New York EEOC representation lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney can provide critical assistance in assembling all the relevant evidence for your case and helping to present your claim in the best light, highlighting helpful facts for the EEOC, and cutting through bureaucratic red tape. Whether you plan to pursue your claim through litigation in federal court, or take advantage of the EEOC’s mediation process, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced discrimination attorney from the outset. The attorneys at Phillips & Associates have substantial employment discrimination experience, including many years of practicing before the EEOC. We are here to help you through the process. Complete and turn in our online Contact Us form, or call (212) 248-7431.