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:
- an overview of the importance of preventing conflict in the workplace
- the role and components of workplace policies on resolving human rights complaints
- an introduction to a variety of dispute resolution options, ranging from direct negotiation to formal proceedings
- a detailed description of the mediation and interest-based negotiation processes
- advantages and disadvantages of mediation
- guidelines on when to use mediation and who should participate
- an overview of confidentiality and power balance considerations that are critical to the effectiveness of the mediation process
- limitations of mediation
- factors to consider when selecting someone from inside or outside the organization to serve as a mediator
- 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:
- sexual harassment between co-workers
- racial harassment, personal harassment, and discrimination based on sexual orientation, which is directed by a manager towards an employee
- failure to accommodate an employee's invisible disability
- 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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