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Old 08-17-2012, 04:08 PM
 
82 posts, read 205,707 times
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After filing a discrimination complaint with my previous employer and receiving a letter on behalf of the EEOC to mediate, I am weighing my options. It is my understanding the EEOC's investigative process is circuitous and very lengthy, hence why the vast majority (roughly 99%, from research) of complaints they receive go to mediation.

At this point, the only thing I'm interested in is a financial payout. I have a solid case but question whether a lawsuit would be a better option.

Those of you with EEOC mediation experience please advise.
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:51 PM
 
359 posts, read 517,783 times
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There are very little downsides to going to mediation. If your case does not settle, then the investigation proceeds as it would have if you did not go to mediation. If your case settles, then presumably everyone "wins." Of course, the employer must be willing to mediate as well.

In mediation, you will have an experienced EEOC mediator go between you and the employer and talk to each side about the strengths and weaknesses of your case. You will get an idea of how the employer values the case and an opportunity to tell the employer (through the mediator) why you think you would prevail at trial in the hopes of getting as big of a settlement as you can. You will not get as much in settlement as you might at trial, but there is a good reason for that -- you don't have to spend the time (years) and money (attorneys are expensive) and you avoid the risk of losing at trial and getting nothing (and yes, there is always a non-zero chance of losing at trial).

It doesn't sound like you have a lawyer, so although you think you have a good case, there may be weaknesses that you are unaware of. This process could have you get a more realistic sense of how your case might turn out if you try to pursue it in court.
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:40 PM
 
Location: California
4,404 posts, read 5,505,666 times
Reputation: 3001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Albuquerque101 View Post
There are very little downsides to going to mediation. If your case does not settle, then the investigation proceeds as it would have if you did not go to mediation. If your case settles, then presumably everyone "wins." Of course, the employer must be willing to mediate as well.

In mediation, you will have an experienced EEOC mediator go between you and the employer and talk to each side about the strengths and weaknesses of your case. You will get an idea of how the employer values the case and an opportunity to tell the employer (through the mediator) why you think you would prevail at trial in the hopes of getting as big of a settlement as you can. You will not get as much in settlement as you might at trial, but there is a good reason for that -- you don't have to spend the time (years) and money (attorneys are expensive) and you avoid the risk of losing at trial and getting nothing (and yes, there is always a non-zero chance of losing at trial).

It doesn't sound like you have a lawyer, so although you think you have a good case, there may be weaknesses that you are unaware of. This process could have you get a more realistic sense of how your case might turn out if you try to pursue it in court.
This. I have been through it as the employer's representative...well, one of them, but still. Mediation allowed us to have a better idea of what the employee was claiming and the employee actually had a better idea of our side. The employee dropped the suit after mediation as she went in thinking that we terminated her because she was African American. We were able to show documentation going back 6 years (the length of time the manager who terminated her had been with the company) and the manager ALWAYS pushed for termination after the 3rd write up. And we could show that the race had no bearing on it.

Not saying that you do not have a good case, but I am saying that mediation will let you know if youin fact DO have a good legal case. Having a good case and having a good LEGAL case can be different. It is best to know it now rather than later.
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:06 AM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
1,469 posts, read 788,558 times
Reputation: 990
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexiana View Post
the only thing I'm interested in is a financial payout.
Who would have thought?
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
395 posts, read 419,798 times
Reputation: 461
Here are two blog posts about employment mediation. One is from a Texas employment lawyer. The other is from an Ohio employment lawyer.. Both are aimed at lawyers rather than clients, but the two posts should give you some insight into employment mediation. As for EEOC mediation, my experience has been that EEOC mediators are more concerned with achieving a settlement at the mediation than are most private mediators. That means the EEOC mediator will focus a lot more on what you will take to settle your claims than what is fair to settle your claims. The two amounts might be very different. If what you will take is much less than what is fair, you might find yourself getting the shaft. If what you will take is much higher than what is fair, the odds are high that the employer will not pay it, and your time at mediation will be wasted.

The mechanics of how a mediation is conducted by the EEOC is usually the same as most other mediations. The mediation begins with everyone together in a room. The mediator explains what will happen during the mediation. Each side is usually given an opportunity to say something about their case. Then each side is separated into different rooms. The mediator meets separately with each side, and you use the mediator to discuss and convey settlement "demands" by you and "offers" by the employer. In the process, the mediator should try to give each side advice about how they can best convince the other side to come closer to theming of settlement. The mediator also should work to convince each side that they need to re-evaluate their position and desires in such a way that they will compromise their own position to meet the other side in the middle.

What you should take from all of this is that you are at a big disadvantage if you go to mediation without having someone there with mediation experience to help you at the EEOC. If you are serious about your claims, you should get help. If you find that nobody will help you because nobody else (i.e., no experienced employment lawyer) believes in your claims, be careful about pursuing them. The courts and the EEOC already have too many frivolous claims. They don't need anymore, and the frivolous claims filed with the EEOC requires the EEOC to use its limited resources on those claims instead of on the serious ones.

If your claims are serious, then you should obtain a fair settlement. Wanting only money for a fair settlement sounds to some like you are just another sue-happy-greedy-bane-of-existence-SOB ruining the United States. In fact, however, your desire is entirely practical. It is the most common way disputes -- including serious lawsuits brought people who were unlawfully harmed -- get resolved. Nothing is wrong with that. The key is that the amount paid for settlement should be fair. To get a fair settlement amount, see advice I wrote above.

Good luck!
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:12 AM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
1,469 posts, read 788,558 times
Reputation: 990
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenthelpreturns View Post
You right wingers are a dime a dozen.
What are you talking about? Im not sure how my political beliefs pertain to the topic, but your outburst of blind hatred is full of fail.

I'm extremely liberal and constantly gripe about the policies of tea partiers.

Last edited by things and stuff; 08-21-2012 at 12:22 AM..
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:11 AM
 
Location: Florida
2,085 posts, read 3,892,129 times
Reputation: 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coco6163 View Post
Here are two blog posts about employment mediation. One is from a Texas employment lawyer. The other is from an Ohio employment lawyer.. Both are aimed at lawyers rather than clients, but the two posts should give you some insight into employment mediation. As for EEOC mediation, my experience has been that EEOC mediators are more concerned with achieving a settlement at the mediation than are most private mediators. That means the EEOC mediator will focus a lot more on what you will take to settle your claims than what is fair to settle your claims. The two amounts might be very different. If what you will take is much less than what is fair, you might find yourself getting the shaft. If what you will take is much higher than what is fair, the odds are high that the employer will not pay it, and your time at mediation will be wasted.

The mechanics of how a mediation is conducted by the EEOC is usually the same as most other mediations. The mediation begins with everyone together in a room. The mediator explains what will happen during the mediation. Each side is usually given an opportunity to say something about their case. Then each side is separated into different rooms. The mediator meets separately with each side, and you use the mediator to discuss and convey settlement "demands" by you and "offers" by the employer. In the process, the mediator should try to give each side advice about how they can best convince the other side to come closer to theming of settlement. The mediator also should work to convince each side that they need to re-evaluate their position and desires in such a way that they will compromise their own position to meet the other side in the middle.

What you should take from all of this is that you are at a big disadvantage if you go to mediation without having someone there with mediation experience to help you at the EEOC. If you are serious about your claims, you should get help. If you find that nobody will help you because nobody else (i.e., no experienced employment lawyer) believes in your claims, be careful about pursuing them. The courts and the EEOC already have too many frivolous claims. They don't need anymore, and the frivolous claims filed with the EEOC requires the EEOC to use its limited resources on those claims instead of on the serious ones.

If your claims are serious, then you should obtain a fair settlement. Wanting only money for a fair settlement sounds to some like you are just another sue-happy-greedy-bane-of-existence-SOB ruining the United States. In fact, however, your desire is entirely practical. It is the most common way disputes -- including serious lawsuits brought people who were unlawfully harmed -- get resolved. Nothing is wrong with that. The key is that the amount paid for settlement should be fair. To get a fair settlement amount, see advice I wrote above.

Good luck!
Those links are broken.
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:35 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
395 posts, read 419,798 times
Reputation: 461
Another try at the links:

Ohio Employment Law Attorneys - how-to-approach-mediation-of-employment-lawsuits | blog - Gordillo & Gordillo LLC

Work Matters: Five ways to take the sting out of mediation

Maybe the old fashioned cut and paste methods work better.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:12 AM
 
229 posts, read 284,637 times
Reputation: 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by things and stuff View Post
Who would have thought?

Wow, such a helpful answer. OP, I'm going to mediate next week. I'll be back to let you know how it went, and to give any tips.
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:09 PM
 
82 posts, read 205,707 times
Reputation: 181
Both myself and my attorneys have legal representation and a mediation date is to be set in the near future. My only concern is that my lawyers have valued my case at a relatively high sum (high five figures), and it is my understanding that most charging parties often settle for much less, often feeling cheated, and pressured by the EEOC to accept a much smaller payout than they are due.

Obviously, my previous employer wants to pay as little as they can and I want as much as I can get. I am pprepared to sue if mediation doesn't work out, however.

I'm certainly not holding my breath.
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