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Mediation & Conciliation

What is mediation?

Mediation is a way for both sides involved in a discrimination case to resolve their dispute without having to go to court or wait for their investigation to finish. This method uses a neutral, impartial Mediator to assist participants in reaching agreements on their own terms. Mediators facilitate a positive, productive conversation that moves participants from narrow positions to the wider discussion of interests. For people who want to reach agreements, and are willing to be open, honest, and reasonable, mediation can help them determine where their interests overlap. This is the place where agreements are made.
  • Which cases are eligible for mediation?

    All cases are eligible for mediation, but both parties involved in the case have to agree to go through the mediation process.

  • How do you sign up for mediation?

    When your case is still under investigation, you will be notified with the option to have an in-person or telephone mediation conference. Both parties have the choice to either go through mediation or reject the opportunity to mediate.

  • Do you need an attorney in order to sign up for mediation?

    You do not need an attorney in order to sign up for mediation. The Mediator assigned to your case, who has completed advanced training in mediation methodology will lead out in the mediation process.

  • What happens after a mediation session is held?

    After mediation, both parties may arrive at a voluntary settlement, which will essentially close your case and its investigation. If your mediation is not successful, however, your case will not end with a voluntary settlement and will continue to go through investigation and the other regular processes.

What is conciliation?

Conciliation is similar to mediation because it is another opportunity to reach a voluntary settlement to a dispute. However, conciliation differs from mediation because the parties can choose to go through conciliation later on in the case, after substantial evidence has been found from the investigation.
  • Which cases are eligible for conciliation?

    After a case has been found to have reasonable cause to believe that there has been unlawful discrimination, the ICRC is required to attempt conciliation in order to reach a possible settlement.

  • What happens after a conciliation session is held?

    A successful conciliation session means that your case does not need to go through pre-hearing conferences, depositions, or an evidentiary trial. Usually, a conciliation agreement includes mandates for things like staff trainings, periodic reporting to the ICRC, and adherence to state equal opportunity laws.

  • How likely is it for a conciliation session to be successful?

    About 65% of employment discrimination mediations at the conciliation stage are successfully settled. This typically happens within 98 days after the probable cause of the case is found.

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