It can be very stressful when an employee of yours files a complaint of discrimination in your workplace. Fortunately, EEOC provides employers with tools to help resolve cases of harassment or discrimination in ways that can save time, money, and stress.
EEOC offers a mediation program that's free, quick, confidential, and easy to use. If a complaint of discrimination is filed against your company, and your company is eligible, EEOC will contact you for a voluntary mediation.
Mediation uses a neutral third party to investigate the charges. This third party has no interest in the outcome, so they will judge the case fairly.
Mediation is a very beneficial process that employers should take advantage of because they avoid costly litigation that can arise if issues are not resolved. Additionally, mediation opens up the lines of communication between the employee and the company and can therefore, actually strengthen relationships.
EEOC will investigate charges and work with both the parties in order to reach a settlement agreement. These agreements are enforceable. Settlement effots can be made at any point in the investigation.
EEOC's investigators are experienced with assisting the parties to reach satisfactory resolutions. Both parties voluntarily enter into settlement agreements. It's an informal process and avoids costly lawyer fees and litigation. Charges are dismissed if settlement agreements are reached and there is no admission of liability involved.
If during the EEOC investigation they found "reasonable cause" to believe discrimination occurred, EEOC will push the parties to enter into conciliatory discussions. These discussions are designed to help find a resolution to the matters. This is like a final opportunity for both sides to negotiate informally and find a resolution.