If you have been discriminated against at work because of a protected characteristic, e.g., your sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, age, race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ethnicity, disability and/or perceived disability, you may have considered whether you should take legal action. Likewise, if you have suffered retaliation during your employment for whistleblowing or other protected activity, you may wonder whether you should sue.
Perhaps you cannot imagine yourself testifying in a courtroom, and the prospect is, frankly, terrifying…
YOU MAY BE INTERESTED TO KNOW THAT
Not all employment cases end up in court with a trial or in an arbitration with a hearing. In fact, many, if not most, employment cases resolve before trial.
Why? For one thing, judges strongly encourage alternative dispute resolution to lessen the burden on the over-crowded courts. Also, litigation is costly and time-consuming. If the parties are able to reach a settlement, the costs and time that would otherwise be spent preparing for trial can be minimized. You, as the employee, can stop re-living the stressful situation and can obtain closure without fear that the case will be delayed or prolonged by appeals.
How? Mediation is often an effective method of resolving employment cases. Informal negotiation and court-ordered settlement conferences are other methods. Mediation is a voluntary process in which the parties and their counsel attempt to resolve the dispute with the help of a neutral mediator. Almost all mediators in the employment discrimination area are lawyers, and many mediators are former judges. A good mediator brings a fresh and objective perspective and a wealth of employment law experience to the table. Mediators’ reputations are based on their success in settling cases.
When? Although it depends on the complexity of the facts, mediation is often most valuable after the parties have engaged in some discovery. Discovery offers an employee the opportunity to obtain information and documents needed to prove his or her case. Mediation occurs in advance of the trial date and is scheduled for a full or half day.
Who? The parties and their respective counsel are usually in separate “rooms.” These days mediations are frequently being conducted through online platforms like Zoom. The mediator goes back and forth between the virtual rooms listening, sharing information and assisting with negotiations. As your counsel, we advocate for you throughout the process, which begins with choosing a mediator. We prepare you by letting you know what to expect and how to talk with the mediator. We arm the mediator with the facts and law to be persuasive in the other room.
Mediation is one way to resolve disputes before trial. For a case to settle both sides must voluntarily agree to the terms of the settlement.
Contact us if you are having issues at your workplace.
If you believe you are being discriminated against at your job, please reach out to our knowledgeable and compassionate lawyers at Jay S. Rothman & Associates for a free consultation.