How to Prepare for Employment Mediation: Important Considerations for Employers and Employees

Employment law disputes are highly contentious and involve complex legal issues.  Mediation sessions provide the parties with a viable alternative to moving forward with litigation. Employment mediations are informal private or court-ordered sessions to assist the parties in an employment dispute to reach an amicable resolution. The mediator does not decide on any legal issues or make any rulings on who is right and who is wrong.  The mediator’s role is a simple one – to help the parties settle their employment dispute. 

The need for employment mediation arises whenever there is a dispute between the parties. The mediation sessions typically take place shortly after the filing of a lawsuit.  However, mediation sessions may also take place prior to the filing of a lawsuit. Ideally, the mediation session occurs before the parties have spent a significant amount of time and money on the dispute at issue.    

How to Prepare For Employment Mediation

Employment mediation requires significant preparation.  It is important to go into the session with a strong understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the case as well as a realistic view of the potential value of the case.  

Preparing for Employment Mediation as the Employer 

As an employer, there are several things to do as you prepare for mediation, including:

  • Review of relevant documents, including any contracts, performance evaluations, or other documentation relevant to the matter.
  • Identifying the key legal issues.
  • Make an honest assessment of your position, including the strengths and weaknesses of the case.
  • Make sure you confer with counsel to get a good understanding of the mediation process. 
  • Set goals for what you want to accomplish during the mediation session.
  • Submit a confidential mediation statement to the mediator in advance of the session. 

Preparing for Employment Mediation as the Employee 

For an employee, it is important to try to take the emotion out of a very traumatic situation, considering most employment law mediations deal with an employee’s alleged wrongful termination.  For an employee to have a successful mediation session, the employee needs to be open-minded.  As an employee, there are many things you can do to prepare for the session, including:

  • Make sure your attorney explains the mediation process and the key legal issues to you.
  • Review any relevant documents prior to the session.
  • Set your goals for the session. 
  • Maintain a professional demeanor.  
  • Submit a confidential mediation statement to the mediator in advance of the session. 

Important Benefits For Employers and Employees

There are many benefits to utilizing mediation services for an employment law dispute.  First and foremost, it is a cost-effective way to resolve the dispute.  In addition, it gives the parties an opportunity to tell their side of the dispute and find closure in a confidential setting. Furthermore, mediation services often present the parties with their best opportunity to fashion a settlement that achieves their goals. 

An Employment Attorney With Experience in Mediation Can Help 

To have a successful mediation, it is important to have a mediator who understands both sides of the dispute. Frank A. Custode, Chair of CMS’ Employment Practice, is a New Jersey Court Rule 1:40 qualified mediator. Mr. Custode is a seasoned employment law practitioner with extensive experience representing both employees and employers and therefore, understands the issues that are important to both sides in an employment law dispute. This experience is an asset that helps Mr. Custode assist parties with the amicable resolution of their dispute.  If you need an employment law mediator, please contact Curcio Mirzaian Sirot LLC.  

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