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What to Know About an EEOC Mediation.

Updated: Aug 29, 2022


If you are considering filing a discrimination or retaliation claim against your employer, you may have the option of participating in a mediation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).


Mediation is often used as an alternative to formal litigation. If successful, mediation can save both parties, the time, expense, and stress of the EEOC investigation and a traditional lawsuit. While mediators do not determine who is right and wrong - they can help the parties find a mutually acceptable solution.


If you’ve never been to an EEOC mediation before, it’s important for you to know what happens during it. Let’s start with a look at when mediations take place.


When Does an EEOC Mediation Occur?


After you have filed a charge of discrimination (i.e., complaint) with the EEOC, the EEOC will ask both parties if they’d like to participate in mediation. If both parties agree, the mediation will take place either virtually or in-person.


What to Expect at an EEOC Mediation?


If you decide to participate in an EEOC mediation, this is what you can expect:


● You and your employer will be given a chance to tell your stories. This is usually done through an opening statement.

● The mediator will ask questions of both parties.

● The mediator will also listen to each party and try to help you come to a resolution.

● Both you and your employer may have an attorney present.

● The mediation process typically lasts one day.

● If an agreement is reached at the mediation, both parties will sign a settlement agreement.

● If no agreement is reached, the EEOC will decide whether to send the case to its investigative stage. After the investigation, the EEOC will issue a determination. If an investigation doesn’t take place, the EEOC will issue a Notice of Right to Sue, where you will have 90-days to file a lawsuit in court.


How Can an Employment Lawyer Assist with an EEOC Mediation?


If you believe that your employer has violated your civil rights, it’s important to consult with an experienced employment lawyer as soon as possible. The earlier we know about the situation and can begin working on a strategy for resolution, the better off you will be at the EEOC mediation and later down the line.


An employment lawyer can help:


● prepare for the mediation,

● present your opening statement,

● field questions,

● negotiate a resolution on your behalf, and

● represent you during the EEOC investigative stage and in court if an agreement isn’t reached in mediation.


Your lawyer will also ensure that your rights are protected during the process. If you have any questions or concerns, your attorney is the best person to contact for answers.


If you do not hire a lawyer, there are several things that may happen during your EEOC mediation:


● There may not be enough time allotted for each party’s statement. The mediator might have to interrupt you to move the mediation along.

● The mediator or employer may ask questions that are not relevant or appropriate, which could potentially cause confusion or negatively impact the case.

● You might feel uncomfortable speaking directly with your employer about what happened during your employment.


We Can Help with Your EEOC Mediation


The EEOC mediation process can be a helpful way to resolve disputes between employees and employers without going to court. However, it’s important to understand that hiring an experienced employment lawyer can help increase the chances of reaching a resolution that is favorable for you.


If you believe that your employment rights have been violated, contact our office to schedule a consultation. We’ll advise you of your rights and help you prepare for a successful mediation.


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