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Employment disputes can be some of the most contentious because a person’s livelihood is usually involved. A California disputes mediator can help deal with the tensions in these types of cases by tapping into the conflict resolution skills that he or she has developed. The following methods help California disputes mediators resolve cases in a successful manner.

Acknowledge Feelings

Although the legal profession acts as though every issue should be approached from a clearly objective standpoint, this dehumanizes the real world situations of the parties involved. An employment dispute can be a highly emotional experience where the aggrieved employee feels that he or she was harassed, mistreated or terminated because of an invalid reason. It is important that the mediator be able to acknowledge these hard feelings in order to connect with the employee and provide empathy.

Be Creative

One of the most significant benefits of mediation in the employment context is the ability to provide creative solutions to the problems involved. While the parties may see in the litigation sense that damages are the only available remedy, this is not the case in mediation. The parties retain control over the proceedings and only agree to settle their case if they both are satisfied with the result. This means that they can agree to unconventional terms, such as offering a job reassignment to the employee, instituting a new employment plan to prevent similar occurrences in the future or offering to provide a letter of recommendation that the employee has personally prepared for the employer’s signature. These creative options often help resolve contentious employment cases because they address the actual issues of the parties without solely relying on the question of economic damages.

Drawing on an engineering background, thirty five years as an advocate in commercial, intellectual property and e-discovery disputes, twenty years serving as an arbitrator, 200+ mediations and 400+ hours of formal ADR training, Greg is “all in” in assisting parties in the speedy and economic resolution of disputes whether as a negotiation or settlement counselor, a mediator or an arbitrator. While Greg is available for mediation and arbitration of various disputes, his focus remains on complex commercial and intellectual property matters including e-discovery disputes. Greg can be reached at greg.wood@agencydr.com