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Civil Rights

Mediation Program for the Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint Process

Cover: Mediation Program for the Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint ProcessThe Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Mediation Program offers individuals an opportunity to resolve allegations of discrimination that are raised in the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint process.

Program Objective

The objective of the Mediation Program is to resolve allegations of employment discrimination at the earliest possible stage of the EEO complaint process.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution approach where a mediator or mediators assist parties with communication to identify differences and interests; achieve understanding; and reach a mutually acceptable resolution.

What Are The Benefits?

Requesting Mediation

The Mediator

A mediator serves as an unbiased facilitator during the mediation session. The mediator does not render a decision on the merits of the dispute. Sessions may include a lead mediator and a co-mediator.

  1. PREPARATION:  Parties should come to the mediation prepared to discuss the issue(s) of the dispute and potential ways of resolving the dispute. 

  2. THE SESSION:  The mediator(s) will conduct the mediation.  The parties will have an opportunity to describe their perceptions of the dispute without interruption.

    The mediator(s) may call for separate caucuses with each party.  Mediation will continue until resolution is reached or it is clear that no resolution is possible at that time.

    Either party is free to withdraw from the mediation at any time.  If one or both parties determine to withdraw from the mediation, the parties are encouraged to discuss their decision in the presence of the other party and the mediator(s).

  3. RESOLUTION: Resolution of matters is not an admission of discrimination. Resolving the matter may be in the best interest of the Agency (e.g., to avoid high litigation costs).

    Resolution.  If the matter is resolved, the terms will be written into a settlement agreement.  The terms in a settlement agreement require the signatures of all parties and is binding on all parties.

    No Resolution.  If the matter cannot be resolved, the aggrieved person/complainant will continue the EEO complaint process in accordance with 29 CFR 1614. 

  4. SURVEY:  Upon completion of the mediation session, the parties will be encouraged to complete an evaluation of the mediation process.  The survey will be maintained by the Office of Civil Rights.  The purpose of the survey is to determine the effectiveness of the Mediation Program.

For Further Information

A video entitled, From Conflict to Resolution: The DOT Mediation Program for EEO Cases is available on the DOT Web site. It describes the mediation process in depth, discusses the causes of conflict, recommends ways of resolving conflict, and also describes the EEO complaint process. You may access the Department’s video at: https://www.civilrights.dot.gov/sites/default/files/upload/video/conflict_management.htm.

Contact Information

Nikisha Pickett
EEO Program Manager

Page last modified on July 15, 2015.
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000