By filing a discrimination claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), you are taking a huge step toward protecting your rights as a Colorado worker.
The filing process can be lengthy and complex, involving many required steps and forms. Once you have made it through the process, you may wonder what’s next.
After you file your claim, the EEOC must send notice of your claim to your employer within 10 days of your filing date. If the EEOC decides that your employer potentially violated a law, they may require you and your employer to attend mediation.
What happens at mediation?
Mediation is a meeting between you, your employer and a mediator. The mediator’s job is to help both of you reach an agreement on how to resolve the issue.
You may be feeling angry and emotional and initially have no interest in attending mediation. Many times, workers are not interested in coming to an agreement, but want to fight their claim in a courtroom.
Mediation is free and confidential
However, there are many advantages to mediation. One of the biggest benefits is that you will save a huge amount of time and money, as compared to going to court.
Mediation is free and your mediation session is usually scheduled early in the process. It is not mandatory for you to bring an attorney, but doing so is a good idea if you want to make sure your rights are protected and any agreement you reach is in your best interest.
Another advantage to mediation is it allows you and your employer to both express your viewpoints and positions in a safe, confidential setting.
Mediation is less stressful
In a courtroom, you will be subject to potentially aggressive cross-examination by your employer’s attorneys. Litigation in general is usually more combative and aimed at pitting you and your employer against each other.
If you do reach an agreement in mediation, it is an agreement you chose, rather than a judge. This means you are likely to leave feeling happy with the outcome, simply because you had a say in it.
You are not required to come to an agreement in mediation. Sometimes mediation doesn’t work, but it is usually still worth the effort.