Palm Beach Gardens Employment Mediation
There are a number of ways to resolve a legal dispute in the workplace. One is litigation. Another is filing a formal complaint with a regulatory agency, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (which is often a precursor to litigation.) But there is also alternative dispute resolution, i.e., resolving differences and disagreements outside of a formal court setting.
Mediation is one of the more common forms of alternative dispute resolution in Florida. In many cases, mediation enables an employer and employee to talk out their differences in a confidential and secure manner and ultimately reach an accord that satisfies both sides. A qualified Palm Beach Gardens employment mediation attorney can provide valuable assistance as both a mediator and as a representative. At the Sconzo Law Office, P.A., our team is trained in handling mediation cases in the employment law field.
How Does Mediation Work in Florida?
Now, it is important to understand that the term “mediation” has a distinct legal meaning from “arbitration.” Both are forms of alternative dispute resolution recognized in Florida. But arbitration refers to having a third party hear and decide a dispute in place of a court. Mediation, in contrast, is not about imposing a resolution on the parties at all.
Rather, mediation means that both the employer and employee meet with a neutral third party–i.e., the mediator–who will facilitate a discussion on the subject of the underlying dispute. The mediator is not there to make any decisions for the parties. The benefit of mediation over, say, a trial is that whatever is said in mediation remains confidential and behind closed doors. This can be especially beneficial when dealing with a sensitive subject, such as allegations of workplace harassment.
In many cases, a court may order parties in a pending lawsuit to engage in mediation before trial. But the parties themselves can agree to mediation at any time. Nor is it necessary for the employee to have formally taken legal action against the employer to request or participate in mediation.
While a mediator cannot impose a resolution, if the parties agree to one on their own terms, that agreement can be put down in writing and signed to make it a binding legal contract that can be enforced in court. The mediation process affords great flexibility in this area. While neither side may achieve everything they might have had the case gone to court, mediation typically results in a quicker–and less costly–resolution of outstanding issues.
Contact the Sconzo Law Office Today
Mediation is not appropriate in every case. But it is still a good option to consider if you are looking to keep an employment dispute out of court and out of the public eye. So if you need additional legal advice on this or any related subject, our Palm Beach Gardens employment mediation attorneys are here to help. Contact the Sconzo Law Office, P.A., today to schedule a complimentary consultation with a member of our team.