Conflict is inevitable in the workplace. Disputes between employees and employers can happen for various reasons. For example, disputes can arise because of harassment, low or unpaid wages, or poor working conditions. When disputes occur, employees often hire employment lawyers and head to court without considering all available options including mediation.
Litigation is not the only way to resolve disputes with employers. There are alternative dispute resolution methods for employment disputes. One of these ADR methods is mediation. Mediation is growing popular daily, but it is crucial to remember that this option is not for every scenario. If there is an issue between you and your employer, you may be wondering if you should try mediation.
So, should you mediate your dispute with your employer? There is no straightforward answer to this question. Before deciding whether to mediate a dispute with your employer, you should contact an experienced employment lawyer. You need to understand the advantages and disadvantages of mediation before making a final decision.
Below, we discuss the meaning of mediation and some advantages and disadvantages of mediating disputes with employers.
What is Mediation?
Mediation involves utilizing a neutral third party, known as a mediator. The role of the mediator is to facilitate communication between you and your employer and help you two reach an agreement that ends the dispute. The mediator does not make the final decision.
Mediation has been used as a method of dispute resolution since long ago and is now the most commonly used ADR method.
Advantages of Mediation
There are several benefits to opting for mediation instead of litigation to resolve an employment-related case. The following are some of the advantages of mediation:
- Mediation improves communication: Mediation provides a setting that encourages open discussions. Open communication can lead to mutually satisfactory resolutions.
- Mediation saves time: After an employee files a legal claim against an employer, the case can take many months to be resolved. Mediation can help parties resolve the case in less than three months.
- Mediation saves money: An employee can save money since, as much as legal representation is encouraged, it is optional.
- Mediation is confidential: Information disclosed during mediation is not revealed to anyone.
- Mediation encourages cooperation: Mediation encourages a problem-solving approach that can help expose underlying problems that need to be addressed.
- With mediation, everybody wins: A mediator speaks on behalf of everyone’s best interests. This, combined with cooperation, can allow you and your employer to settle the case on your own terms. It can allow each of you to get the best results.
Disadvantages of Mediation
First, mediation may not be an ideal way to get to the truth of the matter. In a courtroom setting, there are many tools to get the truth out. Second, if your employer is more aggressive than you, you risk losing what is legally owed to you. Mediators have skills that can help restore balance, but there is only much they can do. Finally, if mediation does not succeed, you may have to go to court and go through the time-consuming litigation process after wasting time and money in mediation.
Contact Us for a Free Case Evaluation
If you need help determining how to handle a dispute between you and your employer, contact our New Jersey employment lawyer at the Trabosh Law Firm to schedule a free consultation.