Is litigation the only choice in employment disputes?

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You may have spent months or even years dealing with harassment, discrimination or retaliation at work. Whether it was a manager, a supervisor, a co-worker or all of the above, you suffered long enough and decided to report the activity to your employer. Despite your efforts, you continue to work under intolerable conditions.

Since your employer failed to rectify the situation to your satisfaction, your next step was to go outside your workplace for help. At some point, you realize that you could file a legal action, but you are hesitant to do so. Fortunately, there is an alternative to litigation in employment disputes.

Mediation could be the answer

Many Minnesota victims of a hostile workplace would more than likely sympathize with you not wanting to go through litigation after what you have already been through at work. Some of them may have turned to an alternative dispute resolution method such as mediation instead.

In mediation, a neutral third party helps you and your employer come to a mutually satisfactory resolution to your claims by providing a platform to do the following:

  • Identify each party’s concerns and issues
  • Work through misunderstandings
  • Discuss the particulars of your claims
  • Identify areas where both parties agree
  • Find and document a resolution

In contrast to litigation, the mediator makes no decisions. You and your employer retain decision-making authority, which often leads to a better resolution to your claims.

What’s so great about mediation?

Mediation provides numerous advantages for you to do many of the following:

  • Avoid going to court
  • Keep discussions confidential
  • Avoid focusing on who was wrong and who was right
  • Work toward a resolution of the issues between the parties
  • Encourage cooperation and compromise
  • Reveal issues in your workplace that need addressing
  • Allow the opportunity to express opinions

Unlike litigation in which the judge makes the decisions and you have to live with them, mediation allows you to come to an agreement with which you and your employer can live. Privacy may be of paramount importance to you as well. After what you have been through, this may be one of the more attractive benefits of mediation.

You don’t have to go through mediation alone

Even though this isn’t litigation, it does not mean that you don’t need to know your rights and receive advice regarding ways to resolve your issues. In addition, it may be useful to have someone with experience in employment law matters by your side to help ensure that you receive the best resolution possible to your claims.

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