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Mediation Process

Once a complainant has elected to use the ADR process and has completed an ADR form with copies of all documentation, the State Equal Employment Manager (SEEM) in conjunction with the State Judge Advocate, will review the complaint for ADR suitability. If found suitable for ADR, the SEEM will arrange for a mediator or facilitator depending on whether it is an EEO or EO dispute.

The following are the stages in Mediation:

Stage 1: Mediator Opening Statement

The mediator will set the tone for mediation by introducing himself/herself; explain to the parties, the mediation process and the role he/she will play. He/she will also go through the mediation agreement and give details on the confidentiality aspect of the mediation and ensure that the parties are there voluntarily.

 

Stage 2: Parties Opening Statements

The parties will be given each an opportunity to explain their side of the dispute without interruption. During each party's opening statement, the mediator will ask questions to clarify the issues, and continually rephrase and reframe the statement to simplify the issues for the parties to hear the other's point of view. At the end of each party's opening statement, the mediator will summarize the issues.

 

Stage 3: Joint Discussion

The parties will discuss and list all of the issues that are important to them and as much as possible, identify any secondary that should be included. At this stage, the mediator will try to move the focus from past issues and conducts, to future solutions and behaviors.

 

Stage 4: Brainstorming

The parties will be encouraged to explore all possible solutions to their issues, and develop their own course of action.

 

Stage 5: Caucus

At times, the mediator may request to meet with the parties individually or the parties may request to meet with the mediator individually. Whatever is discussed in the caucus is confidential and will not be discussed with the other party unless permission to do so is granted by the party.

 

Stage 6: Settlement Agreement

Conventionally, once the parties reach a resolution, a settlement agreement is drafted using, as much as possible, the parties' language. All of the parties must agree to the agreement. The agreement must be clear and specific with no ambiguities, and signed by all of the parties. The parties have a right to refer to an attorney before signing the agreement. For facilitation, the Parties are free to choose other non-conventional means of agreement such as verbal agreement or a memorandum of agreement.

 

Stage 7: Closure

Once the settlement agreement is signed, it is considered final and enforceable. The parties will receive a copy of the agreement. The mediator will acknowledge the parties' effort in settling the dispute and will ask the parties to evaluate the ADR process in a survey given to the parties.