Using mediation to resolve human rights issues in the workplace (overview)

This 49-page background paper introduces readers to a wide variety of dispute resolution methods that can be used to resolve human rights issues in the workplace and offers a comprehensive discussion about mediation. A PDF version is available.

Mediation can be a useful process to resolve human rights issues in the workplace. However, internal dispute resolution processes such as mediation do not take away an individual's right to make a human rights complaint to the Commission. The paper provides background information and is not intended to be a guide to conducting mediation.

The paper includes:

  1. an overview of the importance of preventing conflict in the workplace
  2. the role and components of workplace policies on resolving human rights complaints
  3. an introduction to a variety of dispute resolution options, ranging from direct negotiation to formal proceedings
  4. a detailed description of the mediation and interest-based negotiation processes
  5. advantages and disadvantages of mediation
  6. guidelines on when to use mediation and who should participate
  7. an overview of confidentiality and power balance considerations that are critical to the effectiveness of the mediation process
  8. limitations of mediation
  9. factors to consider when selecting someone from inside or outside the organization to serve as a mediator
  10. a recommended reading list and a bibliography

The paper also provides four case studies of workplace discrimination cases that are resolved through mediation. The case studies address:

  1. sexual harassment between co-workers
  2. racial harassment, personal harassment, and discrimination based on sexual orientation, which is directed by a manager towards an employee
  3. failure to accommodate an employee's invisible disability
  4. failure to accommodate an employee's religious needs due to an inflexible workplace policy

Printable PDF of Using Mediation to Resolve Human Rights Issues in the Workplace

Reviewed: February 5, 2010

 

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