Resolving Disputes Through Employment Mediation
Improperly handling a dispute with an employee or a conflict with a key executive can devastate a business. The best strategy will reduce disruption, while limiting financial and emotional costs. Mediation is especially effective in dealing with employment issues because it provides a cost effective and mutually satisfying way of negotiating.
Improperly Handled Employment Disputes Can Be Costly
It is a violation of federal, state and local laws for employers to discriminate against employees on the basis of, among other protected classes, race, national origin, sex, religion, color, age, disability, and sexual orientation (in some local ordinances). Damages include front and back pay, compensatory damages (for emotional distress e.g.) and punitive damages. It is a prerequisite for filing a complaint in federal court to file a charge of discrimination with the state agency (NY State Commission of Human Rights) or federal agency (EEOC – Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).
Often an employer, when laying off or terminating an employee, will offer a settlement in exchange for a release. I have extensive experience preparing or reviewing these releases and now represent both employers and employees who want advice in connection with an employment issue.
Common employment issues addressed in mediation:
- Failure to promote
- Proposed restructuring
- Difficulties communicating
- Concerns about trust and respect
- Personality clashes
- Work expectation misunderstandings
Experience Is Important
I am particularly qualified to mediate employment disputes. For three years I was in charge of one of five litigation centers for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Thereafter I represented colleges and universities and companies in state and federal agencies and jury trials in employment discrimination cases for over 35 years.
Having represented management for many years, I now review an employer’s proposals for personnel actions, thereby providing a defense to punitive damage. Specifically, a Judge will not give a jury the issue of punitive damages, which requires a reckless disregard for the law, when an outside counsel has reviewed the proposed actions and puts a stamp of approval on it as being non-discriminatory. I sometimes make suggested changes to reduce the exposure to liability. Occasionally, I employ a statistician to perform tests to provide evidence as to whether the proposed action is likely a result of chance or discrimination.
Most of the work performed in the area of employment is efficiently accomplished at my desk. The client is constantly informed of communications with the state and federal agencies, as well as with opposing counsel.
If you are interested in mediation for your employment dispute, please call me at (917) 415-7581 or email me. We can discuss your situation and if you’re interested we can set up an appointment to meet.