A NEW WAY TO ADDRESS EEO CLAIMS
George Reath, Jr., Esq. and David B. Harwi, Esq.
Would you be interested in resolving more than three-quarters
of your company's EEO matters before a formal complaint is filed,
often within two to four weeks?
Would such a program favorably impact your work force and your
The United States Postal Service is implementing a program,
called REDRESS, which is doing just that. We believe a similar
program could be useful for many companies.
The statistics are compelling.
Eighty-six percent of the United States Postal Services
EEO claims which are submitted to its REDRESS program are resolved
before the employee files a formal complaint. More than 90%
of the employees and managers who have been involved in the
REDRESS process view the process favorably and more than 60%
are satisfied with the results.
REDRESS is a program of early intervention in the process of
an EEO claim in which the employee voluntarily submits the
to mediation. The mediation is considered an informal
process in which a third party with no power to impose a resolution
helps the disputing parties try to reach a mutually acceptable
settlement. However, settlement is not the goal of a
REDRESS mediation. The mediation is seen as an opportunity
honest and respectful exchange in hopes of bringing about closure
rather than settlement. The employee does not forfeit any rights
by going to mediation.
The mediation occurs during the employees regular shift
and the employee is paid while attending the mediation. The
mediator is an independent contractor retained by the Postal
Service to work in these disputes. The mediator has no obligation
to reach a settlement.
This is not a traditional approach to EEO complaints. However,
it works. Without the pressure to reach settlement the stakes
of the mediation are lowered but closure occurs with tremendous
frequency. The process permits manager and employee the dignity
of resolving differences themselves. The result is not only
closure but also an improved workplace environment at a minimal
If you would like more information on a program for your business,
call the mediators at Triage Mediation.
Mediation Services Inc. 1999