What is mediation?
Mediation is an informal, voluntary process, which provides a forum for a discussion of the complaint and the opportunity to enter into an agreement that satisfies the interests of all parties.
What are the advantages of mediation?
- Charging Party and Respondent do not have to respond to interrogatories or data requests, unless the mediation is unsuccessful.
- Mediation will be scheduled whenever possible within thirty (30) days from the date the complaint is filed.
- “Fact finding” is not the objective of mediation. Mediators do not weigh evidence, interview witnesses or determine if discrimination has occurred.
- The sole purpose of mediation is to discuss the complaint and resolve it to the mutual satisfaction, and in the best interest, of all parties.
- Mediation is an informal process. No lengthy and time consuming preparation is involved.
- Mediation is not a legal process and does not require the presence of an attorney, although you may have an attorney present if you wish. All principals must speak on their own behalf; attorneys may provide advice to and consult with their clients.
- Participation in the mediation process is voluntary.
- Mediation is a confidential process. The proceedings are non-evidentiary. Mediation sessions are not tape recorded or transcribed.
- The mediator conducts joint and private confidential sessions with the parties.
- Mediators may suggest options for agreements.
- Mediation agreements do not constitute an admission by the Respondent of any violation of the laws that the Commission enforces.
- Mediation agreements result in the closure of cases with the Commission.
- Mediations are scheduled at times and places that are convenient to all parties involved and usually last from one to three hours.
- The vast majority of cases that are successfully mediated are mediated in one session. A second session is permitted if agreement appears imminent.
- An agreement does not have to be signed at the time of mediation. The Commission will permit a reasonable time for a participant to have the proposed agreement reviewed or approved. After this time frame has passed, however, the complaint will be reassigned to an investigator under normal complaint processing procedures.
- Disputes are resolved more quickly than in the traditional complaint processes
- Litigation cost and other cost are lower
- Creative solutions are developed by the parties themselves, thus resulting in greater satisfaction with the process and the parties
- Future complaints are avoided as parties learn to communicate better with each other
What are the roles of the parties?
Mediation is voluntary. Mediation is most successful when the parties:
- Approach mediation in good faith and with an open mind
- Be willing to listen and to consider all aspects of the issues
- Be active participants in mediation
- Develop the terms of the settlement agreement with the assistance of the mediator
A case will be assigned to a certified mediator who has completed specialized training mediation and conflict resolution. The mediator will maintain confidentiality and objectivity. The mediator will have excellent communication skills and will be fully knowledgeable of Commission procedures.
How can I learn more?
If you have filed a complaint, if a complaint has been filed against you or your business, or if you have a dispute that you wish to consider for mediation, our Mediation Coordinator may assist you. For additional information, please contact:
Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission
342 Waller Ave., Ste. 1A
Lexington, Kentucky 40504