Mediated Settlement Program

The Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Bureau operates a Mediated Settlement Program to facilitate timely closure of applicable cases.  See below for some common questions about the mediation process.

  • What is mediation?      Mediation is an informal, voluntary process for resolving disputes by using a trained and impartial third-party who meets with the parties and helps them communicate about their dispute, their concerns, their needs, and options for a mutually beneficial settlement. The Bureau believes that the parties are in the best position to find solutions to their dispute and the involvement of a skilled mediator can help them reach a mutually beneficial resolution.
  • What is the mediator’s role?      The mediator guides the mediation process as a neutral. In general, the mediator has little advance knowledge of the dispute, and comes to it fresh, without any preconceived ideas. A mediator does not act as a judge, give advice, express an opinion on who or what is right or wrong, and does not make a decision in the case.
  • What is my role?      As a participant, you have the opportunity to engage in an informal process which may help you settle the conflict you have with the other party. Be prepared to verbalize your version of what happened and what you need in order to resolve the matter. A willingness to listen to your opponent’s point of view will increase the chances of a successful resolution.
  • How does the process work?      The mediation will be in person, by telephone, or by a NCDOL approved videoconference platform. The mediator will convene the mediation, go over ground rules, and provide each party with the opportunity to summarize his/her point of view. The mediator may have questions to clarify facts, points of view, concerns. In his/her discretion the mediator may determine to separate the parties for individual meetings or “caucuses” or may conduct the mediation as a group.
  • How long will the mediation take?      The target length of time is three hours. The length of time depends on the complexity of the case, the relationship between the parties, the willingness of the parties to be open to compromise, and the specific terms that are important to each party. The mediator may determine to impasse the mediation if progress is not being made or to recess and reconvene at a later date. The mediated settlement conference must be completed within 45 days of the referral to a mediator.
  • Do I have to have an attorney at the mediation?      No. You are not required to have an attorney. If you want your attorney to be present s/he must submit a letter of representation on your REDA claim to the Bureau.
  • What happens if we do reach a verbal agreement?      The mediator will help the parties enter each term into a memorandum of agreement. The agreement is yours; the mediator will work with you to make sure everything that the parties agree to is in the final memorandum.
  • Will the mediation be private and confidential?      Yes. The mediator, as a neutral, is required to maintain the confidentiality of the parties and the process and cannot disclose anything that the parties say or do during the conference nor can s/he disclose the terms of any settlement, unless required by law. The parties will sign an agreement to mediate which includes a promise not to disclose any information, statements, or conduct shared in connection with the mediation. There are some exceptions to these confidentiality requirements, such as imminent threats of physical harm or verbal or physical abuse.
  • May I record the mediation?      No audio or video recording is permitted.