Mediation is a voluntary, confidential, collaborative problem solving process used as an alternative for resolving conflicts in the workplace. It is a process facilitated by trained mediators. It is a tool that promotes better understanding and assists employees and employers in reaching mutually satisfying solutions in workplace disputes.
Participation in mediation is voluntary, and any agreement made is developed by the parties themselves. Mediation not only resolves current problems, but assists participants in developing ways to resolve future disputes.
Why Use Mediation?
- Mediation can improve workplace relationships and lower stress in the workplace.
- It allows the participants to maintain control over the outcome.
- You have nothing to lose. Everything said during the mediation remains confidential. Your rights to further action are preserved.
- It works! Over 80% of the cases mediated by The Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center have resulted in written agreements. 90% of agreements are upheld.
How Does the Process Work?
If you feel there is a workplace-related conflict that you would like to discuss with a co-worker or supervisor, you may request mediation by contacting Kim Pearson at (650) 363-4656 who acts confidentially in this role. She will discuss your issues with you and decide whether your case might be appropriate for mediation. If so, she will contact the other party to discuss mediation as an option for resolving the problem.
If the case is appropriate for mediation and both parties agree to mediate, a mutually convenient time and location is chosen.
During the mediation, parties are each given an uninterrupted opportunity to discuss their issues. With guidance from mediators, the parties eventually communicate directly with each other and begin to develop options for resolution.
What Types of Issues Can Be Mediated?
Disputes naturally arise in the workplace over differences in culture and values, the work environment or breakdown in communication.
Mediation is most effective when it is used early, before a formal claim or action is filed.
Mediation may be a useful tool to resolve disputes arising out of claims of discrimination, requests for reasonable accommodation and adverse actions. Employees who participate in mediation do not waive any of their rights to pursue other, more formalized, dispute resolution processes. Mediation is not a substitute for, nor does it replace, any complaint or grievance procedure.
What is the Role of the Mediator?
Mediators have been trained to help parties resolve differences. Mediators will listen to all sides of the conflict and ask clarifying questions. They will assist the parties in communicating with each other and help them draft a mutually acceptable agreement. Mediators will not decide if someone is right or wrong, or develop an agreement for the parties.
The Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center (PCRC) is a nonprofit organization that is committed to offering high quality conflict resolution services throughout San Mateo County. As a partner in the San Mateo County Workplace Mediation Program, PCRC provides program support.
When functioning as the Case Manager for the Mediation Program, Kim Pearson will maintain confidentiality and keep work separate from non-related mediation activity.
For more information on the San Mateo County Workplace Mediation Program, call: (650) 363-4656.