j Civil Rights Office (CRO) Mediation Pmgram What Is the In mediation a neutral person, the mediator, helps two or more individ- Goal of uals explore ways to resolve their dif- Mediation? ferences and reach an agreement that best addresses their interests. Media- tion is a problem-solving process that E l reduces obstacles to communication, 9 allows the individuals to create and examine options for resolving their dispute, l helps the individuals develop realistic and mutually satisfactory solutions, and l provides a model for future problem solving. Mediation, unlike court litigation and other adversary processes, does not focus on who is right and who is wrong. The mediator is not a judge or an arbitrator and has no power to make a decision. A mediator helps the parties to the mediation become the decisionmakers by understanding and listening to each other and by working together to create options and solu- tions to their concerns. What Happens Not every mediation follows the same in a Typical steps, but the mediation process gener- ally includes Mediation? . creating trust and structure, . identifying facts and issues, l focusing on underlying concerns, l developing options, l negotiating and making decisions, and civil Eights omce (cm) Mediationpro(prm l clarifying and writing a plan or agreement. Depending upon the circumstances, a mediator decides when it is appro- priate to have a session with both par- ties or a separate session with only one of the parties. Are the Yes. The mediation sessions and all materiais disclosed during the media- Mediation tion are confidential. Roth parties Sessions must agree to confidentiality. Confidential? Mediators will not testify concerning the mediation or submit any report or record of the mediation discussions. In addition, mediators do not disclose anything that one of the parties asks them, in a separate session, not to dis- close to the other. How Is When a GAO employee contacts the Mediation Used CR0 Or a civil rights counselor about a discrimination complaint, the coun- in the selor informs the employee of the Discrimination mediation program as an option for Complaint resolving his or her complaint. If the Process? employee decides to mediate the issue, and the manager involved agrees, CR0 assigns a mediator. Each party must consent to the assigned mediator, and the mediator must also be willing to mediate for the parties involved. The CR0 also provides a co-mediator if appropriate. The mediator(s) contacts the parties to schedule the fit media- tion session. The party who represents GAO in the mediation either has the civil RiglIt. office (CRO) Mediation Pro@am authority to make decisions about the issues raised by the employee or receives the authority after discussion with the appropriate officials. Will an No. The discrimination complaint prc~ Employee’s cess is suspended during mediation for 45 days from the date of the initial Rights to mediation session. If unresohed issues Pursue a remain at the end of the mediation, the Discrimination mediator(s) and the employee will Complaint Be state these issues in writing during the Affected If He final mediation session, and the employee may continue processing or She Decides them through the formal complaints to Mediate the process. Issue? Can Mediation Yes. A manager, supervisor, or other Be Used for GAO employee can request mediation through the CR0 Mediation Program Issues Other to help resolve any issues or concerns Than between a manager and a staff Discrimination? member, between two managers, or between two staff members, If both parties are willing, CR0 will assign mediators. How Does GAO GAO unit managers, in consultation Select, Train, with employee advisory groups, select mediators from Band II and Band III and Certify or GS-13/15 staff members. Individ- Mediators? uals selected attend a 3-day training session in basic mediation skills, Newly trained mediators then must conduct several co-mediations with experienced mediators and attend two Page 3 __ ..-. .I,.....,. . . . . . . . ..I. ..-- ---^ -- ---.- CR0 Mediation I--:--:‘\ l Manager/Supewisor Calls CR0 E I 1 I Request for Mediation I To. CR0 Mediation Program i20212?5-6388 Manager CR0 Assigns Co-Medialors Each Party Consents to the Mediators Assianed I IrMaI Mediation Session I I Both Parties Are Present No More I Subsequent Mediation Sessions Than 45 Days 1 With the Parties Separately or Jointly ‘ie *And if Necessary, a Written Statement r Program !il Rights ISSWSS ontacts CR Counselor and :rdes to Mediate the Issue(s) ounselor Calls CR0 I I I I I I I I I CM Rights Complaints Process H Suspende; 45Daya 1 I I I I Unresolved Issue(s) Submitted by + Employee in Writing to CR0 Within 15 Days of Final Mediation Session. E CR Complamts Process Resumed Employee has 15 Days From Final Interview to File a Formal Complaint I civiJRigbtsofeice(cRo~ Medietion Program &hour follow-up sessions before CR0 certifies them as GAO mediators. Will The skills learned in mediation may Individuals facilitate the resolution of any matter the parties deem appropriate. To Conduct maintain the credibility of the Media- Mediations tion Program, however, disputes Outside the involving any degree of seriousness or CR0 Mediation complexity should be mediated under Program? the program’s auspices. Mediators must exercise their own judgment in this regard and may wish to consult with the CR0 before deciding to mediate outside the program. How Can For more information, contact the CR0 Someone Mediation Program Manager at (202) 275-6388. Obtain Further Information About the Mediation program? i
Civil Rights Office Mediation Program
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-11-01.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)