EEOC’s Pivot to Virtual Mediation Highly Successful, New Studies Find

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ngd-Maybe it’s because in person is so difficult for people who have been discriminated against in employment…

Agency Will Continue to Offer Virtual Option to Participants Even After In-Person Services Resume

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that two new independent studies report overwhelming satisfaction with the EEOC’s mediation program as well as a successful transition from in-person to online mediation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, participants view the EEOC’s voluntary mediation program to be highly effective, fair and neutral, and expressed strong satisfaction with the process. The studies also found “near unanimity” in participants’ willingness to participate in the mediation program in the future.  

“The new reports confirm the tremendous success of the EEOC’s mediation program,” said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows. “While our pivot to online mediation was necessitated by the pandemic, online mediation, like our in-person mediation program, has proven to be very popular and effective. The EEOC’s mediation program has received consistently high marks from participants since its inception over 20 years ago and the agency’s effective adoption of virtual mediation during the pandemic is yet another success of the program. The EEOC will continue to offer virtual mediation as an option for those able to participate virtually even after we resume in-person service to the public.” 

According to the first study, more than nine out of 10 participants (98% of employers and 92% of charging parties) indicated that they would be willing to participate in the EEOC’s mediation program again if they were a party to an EEOC charge. A majority of participants (nearly 70%) reported that they would prefer online mediation to in-person mediation in the future. Participants cited flexibility, convenience, cost savings, and a “safe space” as reasons for preferring online mediation.

The second study, reported that EEOC mediators found that online mediation is easier to use and more flexible than in-person mediation; achieved similar or better quality and value of settlements for both parties; and increased access to justice for charging parties.

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