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When Should You Consider Employment Mediation?

There are certain times that any company can enter into a dispute with its own employees. Factors such as pay, promotion, work environment, or office culture are all potential causes of disputes, and while there are general rules and guidelines that both parties can follow, some disagreements may be a little trickier to fix.

This is where employment mediation comes in. Applicable to both employee-employer and employee-to-employee disputes, this method is one of the best options to resolve disagreements.

Mediation basics

Mediation is the process of resolving disputes between two parties by either negotiating or initiating settlement processes. It aims to minimize the likelihood of litigation by having the dispute settled before it reaches a point where there is no other action rather than to sue.

It can be performed by anyone, but in this context, it’s better to find a professional mediator for your case since the likelihood of it escalating is lower with their help. Alternatively, if you have a human resources department that’s capable of meditating on your behalf, it can also be a good option.

Why bother with it?

One of the biggest issues when it comes to litigating anything is the escalation; a court case will often require many documents and once the process started, it can often be difficult to stop. That is why judges would also prefer that matters be resolved outside of court. It’s also the reason alternative dispute resolutions exist.

Litigation is also very costly. If pursued to the full extent that the law allows, the fees, surcharges, payouts, and commissions for your case can be beyond what the amount of the case was filed for. Since legal entities and processes are now involved, this affair will also go on public record, an extremely negative thing for a company to have.

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When should you consider this option?

employees having a meeting

Ideally, mediation should be your first option in any dispute unless the said dispute can be easily resolved by a look through the employee handbook or the contract you had them signed. It’s quite rare that a case becomes serious enough to warrant litigation, let alone mediation; but in any case, it’s much better to resolve the situation internally before looking for a third party to help.

Mediation is a good option when a particularly sensitive matter is handled, such as employee safety and financing, or when the matter is small enough to be resolved quickly, such as inter-departmental dispute. Ideally, you should learn from these cases and establish them as lessons in order to avoid similar scenarios, but it can often be tricky to completely account for everything.

Finally, mediation is a better way of resolving situations due to the fact that both parties are concerned about how the resolution comes about. It helps disputes to be settled with a certain amount of goodwill on both sides, avoids the expensive fees associated with litigation, and can be used to further improve the company to avoid such situations in the future. Resolving issues in a peaceful manner can benefit all the parties involved.