Mediation is a less formal and less expensive process than litigation for spouses who are divorcing, and it can still ensure that your mediation agreement is as enforceable as any other type of court order. The EEOC maintains strict confidentiality in its mediation program, and the mediator and the parties must sign agreements to keep everything that is revealed during mediation confidential. Mediation sessions are not recorded or transcribed, and the notes taken by the mediator are destroyed. In addition, to ensure confidentiality, the mediation program is isolated from the EEOC's investigation and litigation functions. After a successful day of mediation, the parties have reached an agreement to resolve their dispute.
Together, lawyers prepare a mediation agreement that incorporates material conditions, and the parties, the lawyer and the mediator sign it, with the understanding that a more comprehensive agreement will be prepared. Knowing the legal restrictions that mediation entails is extremely important before entering a situation where a mediator is used. If you have an EEO dispute with your employer, your employer, a private organization, or a government agency such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) may offer mediation services. You can inform the person who enrolls in the mediation program, the mediator, or other person responsible for mediation that you have a disability that requires adaptation. In general, physical sites and service providers must comply with accessibility standards by having accessible ramps and bathrooms, and must allow the use of service animals. The parties sufficiently indicated their intention to be bound by the signed mediation agreement and, consequently, that the agreement is enforceable.
Offering mediation to the parties before starting an investigation saves the Commission resources by preventing an accusation from being investigated that could be properly resolved through mediation. If you need an accommodation for the mediation process, you will need to explain what you need and why you need it in order to notify the mediator of your request for accommodation and so that they can provide it to you. If the accommodation proposed by the mediator would not be effective for you, explain to them why so they have the opportunity to explore an alternative with you. The mediator may deny the requested accommodation because personal care services such as transportation assistance do not have to be provided as reasonable accommodations. The mediation provider is not required to pay for an attorney or other representative to participate in mediation or review an agreement. Knowing these legal restrictions is essential before entering into a situation where a mediator is used.