The Main Reason we Excel at EEOC Mediation
EEOC mediators feel certain pressures to resolve a particular number of their active caseload. This results in a benefit for our clients in the form of pressure from the mediator on the employer to offer the employee some monetary compensation to persuade the employee to withdraw the charge.
As seasoned EEOC Mediation attorneys, we note that many mediators at the EEOC will determine, prior to the actual EEOC Mediation, whether you are bringing some consideration to the table prior to convincing you to attend mediation. If you decline to bring consideration, the mediator may guide you toward the investigative process. This is a plus in that employers will be more likely to bring a checkbook to the EEOC Mediation. What you have going for you is that protracted conflict is rarely in a company’s best interest.
What we provide for our Client at an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Mediation
Let’s move forward and assume you have opted to participate in the EEOC’s mediation process, if that has been offered to you. If you haven’t already spoken to your organization’s attorney, I would suggest calling counsel as soon as possible. Attorneys often want to be present with their clients, and since many employers are intimidated by the EEOC process, they frequently lean toward believing they “need” attorneys there to survive the process. If you believe you may have trouble containing yourself, an attorney may serve as an excellent buffer.
There are several advantages to having counsel present for the mediation. An attorney will help you understand your legal rights, evaluate any liability you may have, make sure you don’t give away the store and generally make you feel more secure and comfortable.
The Advantage we have at the EEOC Mediation Forum
If you decide to choose us to accompany you to the EEOC Mediation, you will note that upon our arrival how we interact with the mediator. We have been a party to many EEOC Mediations and have fostered a familiar and comfortable working relationship with many of the EEOC Mediators. Remember EEOC Mediators are neutral, but first and foremost, they are human beings. Many employers forget this, and because of their frustration and anger, they take it out on the mediator. That is not in their best interest. This is a huge advantage we bring to the table.
Per John, a former EEOC Mediation Director, I know has explained to me that he will go out of his way for an employer who treats him well instead of one who comes in with an attitude. I can say that from my experience an EEOC Mediator’s willingness to pursue resolution when an impasse looms will diminish if I’ve been treated rudely. The more respect given will decrease the desire for an EEOC Mediator to shut the process down.
Uniform Advice we live by and Give to our Clients
1. Listen, Listen, and Listen
When I look back and analyze the various mediations I have been a part of I always remember one of the HR reps that I went up again and use as a benchmark when going up against any opposing party. She, in my opinion got the most bang for her buck for her company. She achieved this simply by the way she conducted herself during the mediation process. This young lady started with body language. From the time she entered the mediation room, she conveyed warmth, openness and a genuine willingness to listen to the employee. She never interrupted the employee, never became defensive and interacted with the employee by asking thoughtful, empathetic questions. She was confident and answered employee questions honestly and thoroughly without being evasive. She never demanded ultimatums. She was clear about what she could and could not offer, and was very creative in her ideas for resolution. While my client was rewarded handsomely with a monetary award, the mediation went smooth and resulted with both parties walking away with a mutual respect for each party’s position.
2. Leave Emotion at the Door
One of the greatest obstacles to resolution is not being able to let go of feeling that you’re in the right. This is incredibly difficult to do, but try to keep focused on what you wish to accomplish, not on that you believe you’ve been wrongfully accused of something. Leave your emotion at the door. This is the time to be all business. This is not the time to mend hurt feelings and clear up misunderstandings. This is a time to resolve a situation where an employer has wronged you and part ways with the most equity possible. Trust me; you do not want to risk not settling the case during the mediation. Ask yourself, do you want to endure more months of an investigation, or is it in your best interest to put it behind you today? A good mediation is when the parties vent their concerns, figure out a way for most of their interests to be satisfied, and are able to move on.
3. Don’t Hang up the Towel too Early
Stamina separates the winners and losers. When you feel like giving up and calling it quits, stop, take a deep breath and soldier on Most cases get settled when everyone is tired and frustrated.
All in All
With the current environment in employment law, employers and their counsel can no longer afford to let these simmering pots continue. If attorneys and HR management continue to deny their own limitations in addressing the employees’ concerns, the employee will feel powerless and something has got to give. We are here to fight for you in the forum known as the EEOC Mediation. We promise to fight for the best results possible.
We find the best way to be proactive to take you to the finish line, get the best monetary award possible, and as a result bring the employer to the table to give you what you deserve.