Maybe you are a human resources professional and one of the top sales people at your business has submitted a claim for unpaid bonuses that they believe they earned but did not receive. Perhaps you are an employee requesting unpaid leave from work under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) due to a family emergency, but your employer won’t work with you.
Disputes between workers and the companies that employ them can lead to litigation. When disagreements seem impossible to resolve, a judge can determine what is appropriate given the law and any contractual agreements in place.
Of course, having a judge settle a dispute will conclusively resolve the issue, but going to court can be very expensive and damaging to the relationship between the worker and the company. You may need to consider mediation as a solution to your employment law dispute, even if there is already a pending lawsuit.
How mediation helps
Instead of waiting for a judge to make a decision on your disagreement, you have an opportunity to correct the issue yourselves. Both parties can have their own legal representation, and they will work with a neutral professional called a mediator. The goal is to work out a compromise, and if the process is successful, the parties sign an agreement that they can later enforce in court if necessary.
Mediation gives you an opportunity to resolve the conflicts in a way that is fair to both parties without permanently damaging the relationship between employer and employee. A successful mediation session could not only resolve the disagreement but could also bolster the relationship between employer and employee, leading to many more years of successful cooperation.
Mediation keeps the situation private
Standard employment law litigation may draw the attention of local reporters when there aren’t more exciting stories nearby. Too much attention to an employment law conflict can damage the reputation of a business as an employer or hurt an individual employee’s prospects for gainful employment in the future. Mediation allows both parties to discuss their side of the issue in depth without necessarily making all of those details part of the public record.
You can more easily resolve the issue in a fair and appropriate manner with the help of a neutral party. Looking into alternative dispute resolution options can help you preserve a working relationship despite an ongoing disagreement.