A Business-Minded Approach To Employment Law

Should mediation be on the table for your harassment case?

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2023 | Mediation |

Harassment in the workplace is a serious matter that can leave individuals feeling violated and distressed. When faced with such a situation, it is important to stay calm and explore all available options to address the issue.

One alternative to a traditional courtroom case is mediation. The question remains, though, as to whether mediation should be on the table for your harassment case.

Understanding mediation

Mediation is a voluntary process where a neutral third party facilitates communication between each side in a negotiation. This can help everyone reach a mutually acceptable resolution. Unlike a formal legal process, mediation encourages open dialogue and empowers individuals to actively participate in finding a solution.

Benefits of mediation

Mediation offers a private setting, ensuring that the details of the discussions remain confidential. This can be reassuring for those who are hesitant about the public nature of formal legal proceedings. It also puts all the power in the hands of the parties involved. Instead of a judge deciding the outcome, individuals have the opportunity to collaboratively design a resolution that meets their needs and preserves professional relationships.

Considerations before opting for mediation

Before choosing mediation, it is important to assess whether power imbalances exist between yourself and the other party. If one party holds significantly more power, this might affect the fairness of the process. Mediation also may not be appropriate for cases involving particularly severe harassment or illegal activities.

The most recent data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shows that there were 5,581 workplace sexual harassment charges in 2021. While not all of these are resolvable through mediation, those that are can result in a better outcome for all involved.