Mediation Program

Page updated on Sep 14, 2011 at 2:13 PM

The Office of Human Rights' pilot mediation program provides parties with an alternative to the traditional discrimination complaint investigation process. The Alexandria Office of Human Rights has a mediation agreement with the Human Rights Commission in Prince William County (PWC), whereby a PWC investigator trained in mediation can mediate your claim.

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which a neutral third party facilitates a voluntary, negotiated resolution to a conflict between two parties. The process allows parties to discuss the issues raised in the charge, clear up misunderstandings, determine the underlying interests or concerns, and find areas of agreement. Ideally, the mediation produces a more workable and complete response to the underlying issues.

Mediation is often a good way to resolve discrimination claims because it gives the parties an opportunity to preserve or repair their working relationships, while addressing some of the intangible ways that discrimination and/or perceptions of discrimination affect individuals.

The advantages of mediation include:

  • Free of cost
  • Fair and Neutral
  • Saves Time and Money
  • Avoids Litigation
  • Cooperative Problem Solving
  • Opportunity to Improve the Workplace
  • Can Result in Increased Communication
  • Risk-Free

Information revealed in the mediation process is confidential and will not be part of the investigation process if mediation is unsuccessful. In this case, the claim will be resolved though the normal administrative finding process.

We encourage complainants to take advantage of our mediation program if you think mediation may be a viable means of resolving your conflict. If you are willing to mediate your claim, inform the investigator assigned to your case at the time your charge is filed. If the Respondent also consents to mediation, a mediator will contact the parties to schedule a session.

If you become interested in mediation during the course of investigation, speak to your assigned investigator to see whether mediation is possible.