Matthews-based retailer Family Dollar is the latest employer to take up the EEOC’s offer to mediate its employment disputes. It has signed an agreement—known as a National Universal Agreement to Mediate (UAM)—that allows employers to use EEOC mediators to informally resolve discrimination complaints through alternative dispute resolution.
The EEOC claims UAMs have a 70% resolution rate since their introduction in April 1999. Commission records show over 148,000 cases have worked through the UAM system.
Using the UAM system does not guarantee employers won’t have to go to court, but it appears to be an effective way to resolve small disputes quickly.
Advice: Consult your attorney to determine if such an arrangement would benefit your organization. Learn more at www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/mediation/uam.cfm.
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- Audit demographics to spot problems before anyone sues
- Before you decide to fire, make sure past evaluations support your rationale
- Keep consistent records of all disciplinary actions
- Be ready to intervene if supervisor who shows bias needs an attitude adjustment
- Beware discrimination in contract bidding