Frequently Asked Questions - Mediation
WHAT IS MEDIATION?
Mediation is a means of “alternative dispute resolution” that allows conflicts to be resolved in a respectful and confidential environment. It is non-adversarial in nature and seeks to find reconciliation between parties who are involved in a conflict. The power to make any decisions rests with the parties. The parties are guided in this process by an independent mediator, trained and experienced in assisting parties resolve workplace conflict.
WHAT IS THE MEDIATOR'S ROLE?
The mediator has no power or authority to make decisions for the parties, and will not impose any resolution upon the parties that they do not find acceptable. The mediator does not function as a Judge, attorney or therapist, but instead acts as an impartial facilitator. She will assist the parties to communicate and negotiate, enabling the parties to discuss options and make informed decisions. The mediator may meet with the parties together in joint session, and separately if the mediator believes it to be helpful to the process.
WHAT IS MY ROLE AT MEDIATION?
Your role is to co-operate with the mediator in a good faith effort to negotiate a prompt and reasonable resolution of the problem. That means you should bring with you any documents or other information required for the mediator to understand the issues, and candidly disclose to the mediator any other information that is important. Be prepared to discuss the facts of the matter, your perspective, and what you want to accomplish. You will be allowed the opportunity to voice your concerns and speak without interruption. You should be prepared to listen to each other and be willing to work in good faith to resolve the dispute, with the assistance and guidance of the mediator.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO MEDIATE?
As a general rule, absent a different agreement by the parties, the parties equally share the cost of the mediator’s fee, which is usually based on an hourly rate. Sometimes, as a benefit to employees, an employer will offer to pay the entire fee. Upon recieving your contact information, our office will contact you to discuss your situation and potential services and solutions that Insight Employment Mediation can provide. This inital consultation is free of charge.
HOW LONG DOES MEDIATION LAST?
There is no set length of time for mediation. Most problems can be resolved in one session, though the session may take a full day. Sometimes follow-up sessions may be necessary. The mediation will continue as long as the mediator feels progress is being made towards resolution of the problem.
WHAT KINDS OF CONFLICTS CAN BE MEDIATED?
Interpersonal problems involving co-workers or managers, can benefit from mediation, as well as potential legal claims relating to a partner’s employment or employment agreement. These include claims of sexual harassment, including hostile work environment and other types of harassment or discrimination, ADA or FMLA violations, wrongful termination, wage disputes, severance issues and contract claims, to name a few. If a potential legal claim is involved, an investigation may need to occur before the mediation can take place.
IS THE PROCESS CONFIDENTIAL?
Yes. Confidentiality is critical to the success of the mediation process, so that all persons attending can trust that they can have a full and frank discussion with the mediator about the issues. The mediator will present a Confidentiality Agreement to be signed by all persons attending the mediation. The mediator will not report what happens in the privacy of a mediation session to anyone not in attendance at the mediation, and nothing that is said in the session can be used later in an arbitration or a court proceeding. All notes taken by the mediator will be destroyed after the mediation. Persons in attendance are free to retain their own notes. The only information that is not confidential is whether or not an agreement that is reached, and if so, the terms of that agreement.
WHAT IF RESOLUTION IS NOT REACHED - HAVE I GIVEN UP ANY RIGHTS BY MEDIATING?
If mediation does not resolve the dispute, you may proceed with the next step in the process, such as binding arbitration, or judicial proceedings. Note: If there are statutory deadlines for filing a claim with an administrative agency or in court, and if those deadlines are not waived, they must be adhered to.
HOW DO I INITIATE MEDIATION?
Simply contact us by phone at 602-284-4287 or fill out the contact information on the “contact” page of the website. We will then contact you to obtain additional details, contact the involved parties and make arrangements for the mediation to occur.
DO I NEED A LAWYER?
Mediation is an informal process and you do not need an attorney, though often attorneys are involved. Should you choose to consult with an attorney, that expense is usually borne by you.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE REACH AN AGREEMENT?
The mediator will prepare a document detailing what the parties have agreed to. All parties will sign the document, and the Agreement will be a final, binding resolution of the dispute. All parties will receive a copy of the Agreement.
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