If you are a Kentucky company that has received a charge of discrimination from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you may wonder if there are any alternatives to the traditional investigation and litigation process. After all, a discrimination investigation and lawsuit take resources, time, money and can cause a lot of negative publicity, regardless of the allegation’s truth. One option that may be available to you is mediation.
Are there any mediation or arbitration options with the EEOC?
Yes, and no. According to the EEOC’s website, mediation is available for most charges filed with the EEOC, regardless of where they are filed, including here in Kentucky. However, arbitration is not available at the EEOC.
Mediation can take place at any stage of the EEOC process, but it is usually offered early in the process before an investigation of the charge. Participation in mediation is voluntary, but both parties must agree to mediate. If either party declines, the charge will be processed like any other charge.
Benefits of mediation
Mediation can save time and money because it avoids a lengthy and intensive investigation and subsequent litigation. It can also preserve or improve your relationship with your employee, if they are still employed. Mediation gives you and your employee the freedom to tailor the resolution to your own needs.
For most companies, receiving an EEOC complaint is scary, but the mediation process can take away much of that worry. It is a highly effective method that conserves both time and resources. And, per research by the EEOC, the typical duration of mediations is around 3 to 4 hours.