Mediation is an alternative offered by the MDCR in the complaint resolution process. Mediation is an informal process where opposing parties can voluntarily negotiate resolution of their dispute with the help of a neutral person (mediator). Please see this Mediation Option brochure.
How MDCR's Mediation Program Works
When MDCR determines a complaint may be appropriate for mediation, both the claimant and the respondent are offered the option of mediation. Typically the offer to mediate is included when both parties are mailed the Notice of Formal Complaint. When the parties agree to mediate, the investigation is postponed to allow reasonable time for mediation to take place. When mediation results in a settlement or withdrawal of the complaint, no further action is taken by MDCR. If the complaint is not resolved at mediation, the complaint is investigated like any other complaint. Mediation is generally available any time after a formal complaint has been taken.
Role of the Mediator
Mediators do not make any decisions on the outcome of a complaint. The role of the mediator is to facilitate discussion to try and resolve the complaint. Settlement is voluntary and only occurs when both claimant and respondent reach a settlement that both parties are willing to sign.
Claimants and respondents may have representation at mediation, including but not limited to an attorney. MDCR does not provide representation for claimants or respondents. Mediators do not act as advocates or offer legal advice.
All mediation participants must sign a confidentiality agreement at the start of mediation. Key features of this agreement include:
1. Parties understand that mediation is voluntary and that they can withdraw from the mediation at any time.
2. Parties understand that the mediator has no power to decide who wins or loses the case and that the mediator is going to try to help parties reach their own resolution of the complaint.
3. Parties agree not to subpoena the mediator or any observer to testify about what was said in mediation. The mediator agrees not to willingly testify or report anything said or done in mediation unless one of the participants makes a genuine threat of physical harm, or commits physical harm.
4. Parties understand that any documents prepared for or during mediation are for settlement purposes only and may not be subpoenaed for, or used in, an administrative hearing or trial unless otherwise discoverable.
5. Parties understand that participants are not bound by anything said or done in mediation unless and until there is a written agreement to do so.
6. Parties understand that they may reach a confidential agreement that may or may not be submitted to MDCR. If an agreement is kept confidential from MDCR, a withdrawal form must be signed by the claimant to close the complaint.
1. Mediation saves time. Investigations, hearings or court cases can take a long time.
2. Mediation saves money. Although an attorney is not required, through the course of the investigation both parties may want legal assistance. Aside from legal fees, other costs can include lost income from time away from work, and lost productivity from the time and energy that you or your employees spend cooperating with the investigation.
3. This may be the only time you can face the other party and share your point of view.
4. Mediation is an informal way to communicate and try to reach a resolution.
5. Mediators make sure everyone has an equal chance to speak and make suggestions.
6. Mediators will not be subpoenaed and all mediator notes taken during the meeting are destroyed. Information from the mediation has no effect on the investigation or future court cases.
7. You can be creative and offer suggestions on how to resolve the complaint rather than accepting someone else's decision.
8. Settlements are no-fault settlements. When a written agreement is reached in mediation, you do NOT admit fault or violation of the law. A mediation agreement does not equal wrongdoing in the eyes of MDCR.
9. Mediation is a chance to put an end to the issue. If the case is not successfully mediated, MDCR continues its investigation which could include supplying documents, and providing witnesses to be interviewed during the work day.
How Can I Learn More About Mediation?
If you filed a complaint of discrimination with MDCR, or if a complaint has been filed against you, your company or organization, and you wish to consider mediation, our Mediation Coordinator can help.
Cadillac Place - Suite 3-600
3054 West Grand Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48202
Toll Free: 1/800.482.3604
Direct Phone: (313) 456-3775
Fax: (313) 456-3801
You can also contact your local MDCR office for information.
These links also provide information about mediation: