Dynamic Solutions in Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution Services

How could a third-party neutral help with microaggressions?

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2023 | Alternative Dispute Resolution

In some cases, business owners will feel concerned that employees believe they’re being treated unfairly. Maybe the employee has complained about being discriminated against or harassed on the job. The owner of the company just wants to find a resolution as quickly as possible to avoid any serious litigation.

One potential option is to work with a third-party neutral. This person can help both sides come to a solution. They are not necessarily representing one side or the other, but simply helping them both through the process of communicating about the issue and exploring potential solutions.

How microaggressions make things complicated

One area in which this may help is if the employee claims that they are the victim of microaggressions. These are often minor issues, like jokes or offhand comments, but they speak to a much greater problem – like systemic racism.

For example, perhaps coworkers make jokes about the way someone talks because English isn’t their first language. Or, conversely, maybe people compliment them on how well they speak English, implying that they’re surprised that they’re even able to do so. Comments like this can create a hostile work environment.

But the issue is that other employees may not even realize what microaggressions are or how damaging they can be. They do not understand that they are making the other employee feel discriminated against and marginalized.

In a situation like that, a third-party neutral could sit down with both sides, explain discrimination laws, define microaggressions and help them come to a solution that satisfies both people. Things do not necessarily have to escalate to litigation, which can save time and money. It’s important for everyone to know what options they have.