Are you being discriminated against at work? Watch this video by experienced Phoenix employment lawyer Quacy Smith to learn about EEOC mediation and how it can be used to settle employment discrimination disputes in Arizona. Read Our FREE Employment Law Guide
EEOC mediation is an opportunity that is offered to some charging parties, or persons that are bringing charges against employers early on in the administrative process that the EEOC is responsible for taking care of. Normally how it happens is immediately after a charge is filed with the EEOC, if it’s not dismissed because there’s a lack of merit, the charge is routed up to the alternative dispute resolution department, that houses the mediation section of the EEOC. They determine whether the case is worthy for mediation. If it fits certain criteria, it would warrant mediation.
If it’s selected by the EEOC for mediation, then the parties are contacted and they’re invited to mediation. Mediation is a voluntary process and both sides and the EEOC must agree to the mediation for the mediation to go forward. If one side decides not to participate or declines EEOC mediation, then the case will enter back into the investigative track.
Before accepting an offer to mediate, which if you haven’t been represented by an attorney at this point in your EEOC charge, I would highly recommend that you contact an experienced attorney that is familiar with EEOC law. This is a great opportunity for you as the employee to cut down some of the time that could be associated with the investigation, to get similar remedies upfront with less cost to you. Oftentimes, it’s similar or better than what could be achieved at the end of an EEOC investigation, or after the matter has been filed in court. It’s an opportunity that you really should look at, based on the strength of the charge and the facts.
Again, it’s a case-by-case scenario so there’s not one blanket answer. I always refer employees to mediation when the case and the facts warrant such. The beauty of having an experienced employment lawyer that is experienced with EEOC law is you don’t go to those mediations unrepresented. One of our attorneys, not a paralegal, not legal staff, an attorney, will actually sit there with you; make sure that your claims are forwarded. Oftentimes, the employers will show up with high powered lawyers, and they’re representing their interests and their job. Their interest is to walk away from the table with as little damage to them as possible.
With an experienced lawyer, you can make sure that that EEOC mediation process is fruitful for you and successful; to make sure that your claims have been addressed and that some of the remedies that you’re seeking has been made whole. Again, if you’re at that point where you’ve been invited to EEOC mediation, or you feel that it may be pending soon, I would highly recommend you contact a lawyer experienced in that area so that they can walk you through that process. It can be very fruitful for you and speed up the process of your charge of discrimination.
If you are the victim of workplace discrimination, EEOC mediation can be a helpful tool to getting your voice heard, and discrimination claim resolved. Contact our experienced Phoenix employment lawyers to learn more about EEOC mediation and how it can help. We offer free confidential consultations and will fight to ensure your rights are fully protected under the law.
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