Mediation is an EEOC-Favored Option in Discrimination Charges

At least one Equal Employment Opportunity Commission representative wishes more employers would mediate discrimination charges they receive from their employees. Mary Jo O’Neill, regional attorney for the Phoenix District Office of the EEOC, spoke favorably about the EEOC’s free mediation program at the 2016 EEOC Phoenix Seminar at Black Canyon Conference Center in Phoenix on July 14. O’Neill stated that while more than 90 percent of charging parties indicate during their intake interviews that they are willing to mediate, only about 35 percent of employers agree to mediation. She further stated that mediation provides an opportunity to initiate dialogue that may not have been available before, and that sometimes claimants just want to be heard and the problem can be resolved in a conversation. According to O’Neill, one-third of EEOC charges that go to mediation settle with no money exchanged. MSEC assists its members with all stages of the charge process with the EEOC, whether the company wishes to mediate or decides to further the investigation through the submission of a position statement.