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June 3, 2022
Earlier this week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that two independent studies revealed high rates of satisfaction with the EEOC’s mediation program and virtual mediation services. Thus, the EEOC will continue to offer virtual mediations even after it resumes in-person services.
Mediation participants, as well as mediators, reported a preference for virtual mediations due to their flexibility, convenience, and efficiency. Mediators reported achieving settlements of similar or better quality as compared to in-person mediations. Many charging parties do not wish to be in the same physical location as their employers and, thus, virtual mediations reportedly have provided them with a “safe space” and greater access to justice. Employers reported being more likely to participate in mediation due to the flexibility of an online format.
Another big plus with virtual mediations is cost savings – not only because parties do not have to travel to an in-person mediation, but also because, other than paying your attorney, the mediation is free.
*Special thanks to Brennah Busch, our intern from Conestoga High School, for her contributions to this article.