Stewart notes that the EEOC wants employers to understand the following five points when considering mediation:
- It's voluntary;
- It's fair and neutral;
- It's confidential—all parties to the mediation must sign an agreement which states that the mediation proceedings will be confidential;
- Any resulting agreement is completely binding; and
- No party will be forced to accept a resolution against his or her will.
Nationally, the EEOC has resolved about 50 percent of its new charges via mediation. The agency expects that about 55,000 charges nationwide will be resolved via mediation next year, Stewart reported.
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