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How are EEOC mediation settlements determined?

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Quick Answer

An EEOC mediation is not a trial before a judge, rather it is an informal dispute resolution process between an employee, his employer and a neutral mediator. Mediation does not attempt to determine wrong doing, and a mediator does not impose a decision. Instead, he listens to both parties and tries to help them reach a satisfactory agreement, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission explains.

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Full Answer

The EEOC offers mediation services for free. The mediation process is voluntary and is generally considered a more beneficial form of resolution than a judicial hearing. It is not necessary to obtain a lawyer for a mediation meeting, however one can attend. At the mediation hearing, the mediator begins by asking both parties to explain their cases, states the EEOC.

After the mediator hears both sides of the story, he attempts to help the two parties reach an agreement. The mediator cannot impose a decision, and both parties have to agree to the settlement for it to become binding. On average the EEOC resolves disputes within 84 days. The mediator also attempts to repair the working relationship between the employer and employee, as the EEOC notes.

It is not the mediator's job to uncover the truth or what really happened or to determine which party is at fault. He does not engage in fact-finding missions or call in experts to testify, although either party can bring a witness to contribute to the dialogue. The mediator also meets privately with each side in an attempt to negotiate an agreement, according to Illinois Legal Aid.

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