Coffee Talk - Dispelling the Myth of Mediation
Join Joe Bontke, education and outreach coordinator for the Houston District office of U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on the morning of April 8 for our EEOC Emerging Issues and Dispelling the Myth of Mediation
Mediation is a way to resolve disputes without filing a “formal complaint” or lawsuit. It can provide a non-public forum in which the disputing parties can discuss the dispute, feel that they are being heard, gain insight and understanding into the perspective of the other party, and work together in exploring and developing possible ways towards resolving the dispute. Mediation is a confidential, usually voluntary, process of shared decision making in which one or more impartial persons, called mediators, assist people in conflict to work toward a variety of goals.
At the end of this session leave with:
Recognition and Understanding. When employees feel they are being heard and have the opportunity to hear and understand the other party’s point of view, the chance for an amicable resolution is heightened.
Self-Empowerment. The workplace is an environment in which employees feel they are normally being told what to do – mediation offers employees the opportunity to have input in the decision on how to resolve a situation.
Timeliness and Speed. Mediation can take place quickly and within a short period of time (often just a few hours). In contrast, a formal complaint filed with a regulatory agency or court can take years to resolve.
Cost Effective. Mediation is cost effective not only financially but also in human capital and time. Mediator fees are a fraction of the costs of the legal fees associated with a protracted conflict and litigation.
Confidential. Once a lawsuit is filed it becomes a matter of public record while mediations, by their very nature and contract, are confidential, regardless if a mediation takes place prior to or after a lawsuit has been filed. In California, communications during mediation are inadmissible and are confidential as defined under the Evidence Code.
Durability of the Mediation Agreement. Studies have shown that when disputing parties voluntarily enter into a mediation agreement they are far more likely to adhere to the terms of the mediation agreement since they helped draft and design the agreement rather than when a judgment is imposed by a court or regulatory agency.
Mr. Bontke has worked in the human resources and civil rights field for more than 25 years and has experience in employment law and adult education. With a bachelor's degree in philosophy and a master's degree in education, he has held roles that include human resources director, training coordinator for the American Disabilities Act (ADA) Technical Assistance Center for Federal Region VI and was appointed as assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine.
The event is free, but reservations are required. Coffee and light refreshments will be offered.
The event has been submitted for 1.5 SHRM PDC credits.