Workplace Mediation Media & Entertainment Industry
Employment and workplace mediation have become an increasingly common method of resolving work related disputes. Although these cases have been on the rise over the last several years, they only became a popular choice for resolution when companies began to use mandatory mediation as a means of handling their disputes. The choice of arbitration over mediation at work is becoming much more popular, but this raises a host of issues about the legitimacy of this process and whether or not the ethics of arbitration are really applicable to the workplace.
There are actually two different types of mediation at work, one that is voluntary and the other that is mandatory. Mandatory mediation at work requires that the employee has a “voting” role in the process, which is a very unique and problematic way to begin a process that will ultimately involve the employer, the employee, and another third party, such as a third party mediator. Mandatory mediation at work generally results in a binding agreement between the employer and employee regarding a process that will occur at the workplace.
The first mandatory mediation at work took place when the employee was prevented from attending a company meeting during the holiday season. This forced the employee to make a decision as to whether or not to participate in the proposed mediation or not. As it turned out, the employee agreed to participate and the employee was given no choice but to abide by the decisions of the mediator that was required to deliver a decision in accordance with the mandate of the mandatory mediation process.
In the second mandatory mediation at work scenario, a union representative went to the office of an employee who had not received proper notice that an official union meeting was scheduled to take place. After the representative was threatened with a legal threat by the employer, the employee stopped participating in the mandatory mediation process. The process was formally discontinued by the mediator.
Although there was never a compulsory mediation at work, this case did show that this mediation process can be a source of contention between employers and employees. The intimidation that was used against the employeeis one of the primary reasons that mediation at work should be avoided in the first place. Many employers don’t like the idea of mandatory mediation at work and often feel that mediation at work is something that should be left to the courts.
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There are also instances where an employee has refused to participate in a mediation process and the employer feels forced to go with a third party mediator. Again, this may not seem like a problem if it is the result of a company mandate, but the fact is that it is extremely important to understand that no matter what the mandate, the employee has a right to assert their own rights and choose a process that is suitable for them. If a third party mediator is used for mandatory mediation at work, then the employee will likely not be able to do so because they do not feel that the mediation process is appropriate for them.
Sometimes a company mandates mandatory mediation at work but has decided to employ a third party mediator instead. Although a third party mediator does provide the benefit of independence, employees who have signed up to be a part of the mandatory mediation at work process may not feel as if they are being fully involved in the process and therefore may not be as inclined to participate. In addition, there are often conflicts of interest that are present when third party mediators are used for mandatory mediation at work, which creates problems for the employer as well. Employers must be careful when selecting a third party mediator, as some companies make a concerted effort to choose someone who is biased in favor of the employer.
It is important for employers to fully comprehend that mediation at work is not mandatory and that they will not be forced to use this process. In fact, it is a common misconception that all mediation at work must occur at the employer’s workplace. With voluntary mediation at work, employees can choose whether or not to participate, but not with mandatory mediation at work.
For employees who believe that they should be fully involved in the mediation process, employers should consider how to protect employees from unethical behavior in the workplace by creating an atmosphere that is conducive to employees’ choice of the right mediation process at work. Employers should create an environment where mediation at work can occur without fear of intimidation. employees deciding what process they want to engage in and how they will do so.
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