Employment Law Mediator With a Focus on Results
In a legal dispute, a voluntary agreement achieved through mediation is the ideal situation for both parties. An objective third-party mediator can facilitate swift conflict resolution without the added risks, expenses, and complications of formal courtroom litigation. As well as achieving a satisfactory outcome in a cost-effective manner, mediation also preserves relationships and maintains confidentiality.
In an employment context, mediation may be proposed by the employer as part of your employment contract or collective bargaining agreement. It can also be recommended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) after a charge has been filed or even the disputing parties once the case has been filed.
New Orleans employment lawyer Robert B. Landry III PLC is also a certified employment law mediator for civil disputes in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana. His deep understanding of the law and diplomatic approach to problem-solving have repeatedly resulted in mutually satisfactory agreements for all parties involved, demonstrating his impressive track record.
Mediation as Employment Dispute Resolution
In many disputes, one or both parties fail to communicate, understand, or consider the interests and needs of the other party. An effective mediation process helps conflicting parties come to an agreement. Mediation is usually conducted outside of the formal court process with the assistance of a neutral party (the mediator) who facilitates communication between the parties.
The purpose of employment mediation is to resolve employment disputes such as:
- Workplace discrimination claims
- Sexual harassment allegations
- Disputes over wage and overtime payments
- Claims of retaliation or unjust termination
For parties who are willing and able to participate, mediation can be a less expensive alternative to litigation. Some workplace disputes have the potential to drag on for months and even years, which is expensive, stressful, and time-consuming.
Why Go Through Mediation First?
Mediation has several advantages that directly benefit all sides to the dispute.
- Success rates are high, with the majority of conflicts being settled within a day. Even if the dispute is not totally settled, it is often resolved fairly quickly after the key issues have been clarified, allowing each side to completely understand the other’s position.
- Mediation reduces the time needed to settle a dispute, thus avoiding the lengthy process and emotional strain of an employment tribunal hearing or trial. It is possible to set up mediation within days and it is often completed in one day.
- By shortening the employment dispute resolution process, parties are able to address their employment grievances at a lower cost.
- Working relationships can be repaired, allowing the parties to remain on good terms. Mediation focuses more on finding a solution than apportioning blame. When there is a continuing employment relationship, this is particularly useful.
- Disputes can be resolved through mediation without the risk of a trial that could negatively impact both employers and employees.
- Using mediation reduces the backlog in the court system, allowing more cases to be heard faster.
- The parties are in control of the mediation process, rather than a judge. Working relationships can heal through such an experience and can be particularly empowering for both parties.
- It supports creative solutions. There are many non-financial elements to mediation settlements that an employment tribunal or court would not be able to order. As an example, a mediation agreement could include a formal apology or a reference for future employment.
What is the Role of an Employment Law Mediator?
Once appointed, mediators manage the employment dispute resolution process, moving matters forward and instilling the confidence and cooperative spirit needed for a successful outcome. Their job is to facilitate communication between the parties and help them understand each other’s perspectives on the situation, as well as their own. A better understanding of the situation allows everyone to work together toward a resolution.
After gathering information in order to identify common ground between all sides, the mediator will help the parties find a way to work together to resolve their differences. At all times, they present an honest picture that lets everyone understand their true position while offering fresh and creative ideas for reaching a mutually acceptable outcome.
What is the Employment Dispute Resolution Process?
Upon determining that mediation is appropriate, the parties must sign an Agreement to Mediate. Then the mediator meets with both sides, a procedure known as the joint session, in order to establish all objectives and aims. As soon as these goals are identified, the parties move to separate rooms where they can freely and confidentially discuss the dispute.
As the mediator moves between the parties, they will explore the issues identified during the joint session, propose creative solutions, and encourage everyone to work together to resolve the dispute. At the same time, they also help all sides consider the potential consequences of failing to reach an accord, such as going to court.
The mediator cannot provide legal advice to either party or force a settlement. Nevertheless, mediation has proven to be a successful method of resolving employment law disputes, usually at an early stage. In the event that mediation is successful, both parties will need to prepare and sign a document containing the terms of the agreement.
Is Mediation Legally Binding?
Unlike arbitration, mediation is a non-binding process. Hence, a resolution cannot be forced upon the parties, but must be voluntarily accepted. However, once all sides execute a settlement agreement based on mutually acceptable terms, that agreement becomes legally binding.
Facing an Employment Dispute? Speak to a Louisiana Employment Law Mediator.
All parties involved benefit from the efficient and timely resolution of employment disputes. With the assistance of a skilled mediator, clients avoid the steep economic and noneconomic costs associated with courtroom litigation. Let attorney Robert B. Landry III PLC use his experience and comprehensive legal knowledge to help ensure that your mediation goes as smoothly as possible. We serve clients in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette, and throughout the region, so call 866-443-1731 or 866-924-9529 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation.