Workplace Mediation

Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process. An impartial practitioner, known as a mediator, assists parties in a dispute to seek a mutually acceptable resolution. Mediators have no decision-making authority.

Mediation and other Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes are informal options that can be used instead of traditional administrative or litigation processes. Mediation is generally more flexible and utilizes a more cooperative problem-solving approach than traditional processes.

For more information about Workplace Mediation, please contact CADR at the contact us link.

EEO ADR Mediation

If an employee believes they have been discriminated against based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation or genetic information, or that they have been retaliated against, they have the option to address the issue as an EEO matter. The employee must contact an EEO Counselor within 45 calendar days of the date of the incident that gave rise to their complaint or within 45 calendar days of its effective date if it is a personnel action. When communicating with EEO staff, mediation may be offered as a method to address your complaint. Mediation can be an alternative method of resolving an EEO complaint when it is done within the EEO process and procedures.

Who Participates? Timeline

Counselee (Informal) or Complainant (Formal)

Responsible Management Official(s)

Settlement Official

Attorneys, Agency Attorneys, or other representatives (if applicable)

Participants have up to 90 days to resolve ADR, including mediation, in the pre-complaint or informal stage. If a formal complaint moves forward, participants will have up to 180 days to resolve with ADR. Mediation can end before the 180 days if an investigation is completed and the EEO office issues the Report of Investigation.

Administrative Grievance Mediation

An Administrative Grievance is a request for personal relief over any matter of concern or dissatisfaction related to the employment or condition of employment of the employee(s), and that is subject to the control of management.

Personal Relief:

  1. A remedy directly benefiting the grievant;
  2. Must be specific and clear;
  3. Must be subject to the control of management; and
  4. Can't be a request for disciplinary (or other) action against another employee or supervisor.
Who Participates Timeline


Step 1: Grievance Official (commonly, the first-line supervisor)

Step 2: Deciding Official (commonly, a management official above the grievance official)

Other representatives (if utilized)

Up to 45 days to resolve in Step 1. 

If ADR permitted, deadline for final decision may be extended for up to 45 days in Step 2.

General Workplace Mediation

A person requesting mediation who wishes to resolve issues and concerns affecting day-to-day work and is not involved in an EEO or Administrative Grievance complaint process.

Who Participates Timeline

As determined by the participants

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