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Nevada Equal Rights Commission

Frequently Asked Questions About Mediation
Printable Version

Does the Equal Rights Commission require the parties to participate in mediation?

No. Participation in the mediation program is strictly voluntary. If either party declines to participate in mediation, the charge will be processed just like any other charge.

Who mediates charges?

Only mediators who are experienced and trained in mediation and equal opportunity law are assigned to mediate charges. Mediators are neutral unbiased professionals with no stake in the outcome of the mediation process.

At what point in the administrative process will mediation take place?

Mediation will usually take place early in the process prior to an investigation of the charge. Offering mediation to the parties prior to an investigation saves Commission resources by avoiding the investigation of a charge that might be appropriately resolved through mediation. In addition, mediation prior to an investigation prevents the hardening of positions that can occur during a lengthy investigation.

Can a party request mediation?

Yes. Either party can request mediation as long as both parties agree to participate.

Is the mediation process confidential?

Yes. The Commission maintains strict confidentiality in its mediation program. The mediator and the parties must sign agreements that they will keep everything that is revealed during the mediation confidential. The mediation sessions are not tape-recorded or transcribed. Notes taken during the mediation by the mediator are destroyed. Furthermore, in order to ensure confidentiality, the mediation program is insulated from the Commission's investigative and litigation functions. Mediators only mediate charges. They are precluded from performing any other functions related to the investigation or litigation of charges.

Who should attend a mediation session?

The charging party and a representative of the respondent should attend the mediation session. The person representing the respondent should be familiar with the facts of the charge and have the authority to settle the charge on behalf of the respondent.

Can the parties bring an attorney or other representative to the mediation session?

Yes. While it is not necessary to have an attorney or other representative in order to participate in the mediation program, either party may choose to do so. The mediator will decide what role the attorney or representative will play during the mediation. The mediator may ask that they provide advice and counsel, but not speak for a party. If a party plans to bring an attorney or other representative to the mediation session, he or she can discuss this with the mediator prior to the mediation session.

Are all charges eligible for mediation?

No. The Commission evaluates each charge to determine whether it is appropriate for mediation considering such factors as the nature of the case, the relationship of the parties, the size and complexity of the case, and the relief sought by the charging party. Charges that the are determined to be without merit are not eligible for mediation.

What happens to a charge if it is not resolved in mediation?

If a charge is not resolved during the mediation process, the charge is returned to an investigative unit, and is processed just like any other charge.

Are the parties required to pay for the mediation?

No. There is no fee for the mediation.

What happens if a party does not comply with an agreement reached in mediation?

An agreement reached during mediation is enforceable in court just like any other settlement agreement resolving a charge of discrimination filed with the commission. If either party believes that the other party has failed to comply with a mediated settlement agreement, he or she should consult a private attorney.  The Nevada Equal Rights Commission is not a party to a settlement agreement, nor does it enforce settlement agreements.

Does mediation work?

Yes. Participants in the mediation program indicate a high degree of satisfaction with the program. It is a fair and efficient process that can avoid a lengthy investigation and the possibility of unnecessary litigation.

Can information revealed during a mediation session be used during an investigation if the charge is not resolved during mediation session?

No. Since the entire mediation process is strictly confidential, information revealed during the mediation session cannot be disclosed to anyone including other Commission personnel. Therefore, it cannot be used during any subsequent investigation.

Do charges ever settle for non-monetary benefits?

Yes, in many cases, the settlement involves a non-monetary benefit.  The Commission supports settlement agreements that are acceptable to both parties, including agreements that do not include money.

As a respondent, if I believe the charge has no merit, why should I participate in mediation?

Mediation provides a neutral and confidential setting where both parties can openly discuss information about the underlying dispute. Through enhanced communication, mediation can foster improved working and business relationships and a better understanding of factors which may be affecting the overall business environment.

For more information about mediation, contact the Equal Rights Commission office.


 
Equal Rights Commission
Las Vegas
1820 East Sahara Avenue
Suite 314
Las Vegas, NV  89104

Phone (702) 486-7161
Fax (702) 486-7054
Equal Rights Commission
Northern Nevada

1325 Corporate Blvd.
Room 115
Reno, NV  89502
Phone (775) 823-6690
Fax (775) 688-1292

NV Relay 711 or 800-326-6868
DETR/NERC is an equal opportunity employer/program. 
Auxiliary aids and services available on request by individuals with disabilities.

 

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