|Workplace conflicts can distract Marine Corps personnel from focusing on the mission of their organization. For this reason, USMC policy is to use the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process at the earliest stage possible in civilian disputes, if feasible.
ADR is an alternate method for resolving all kinds of workplace disputes outside the traditional process of EEO complaints, grievances, and litigation. Mediation is the ADR process most commonly used by the Marine Corps. Unlike formal processes for resolving disputes, Mediation resolves disputes and conflicts at the earliest stage possible, it is relatively quick, and it is inexpensive.
During Mediation, which is a voluntary process, a certified neutral person facilitates a discussion between two or more parties to help them arrive at a mutually agreeable resolution of a dispute.
Mediation is not about fault or blame, it’s about results. It is confidential, helps to maintain work relationships, improves communication, and promotes creative solutions.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Do I have to participate if someone asks me to?
A: Mediation is a voluntary process.
Q: If I participate in Mediation, do I lose my rights under the EEO complaint process or the Negotiated or Administrative Grievance processes?
A: No, you do not lose your rights.
Q: Who can initiate an ADR process?
A: Anyone – employees, managers, unions.
Q: How long does it take to get a Mediator?
A: It takes approximately 3 weeks to obtain a Mediator once a request for Mediation is made.
Q: Where do the Mediation sessions take place?
A: In a Conference Room near your servicing EEO Office.
There are many benefits to using ADR:
- Disputes are generally processed and resolved more quickly.
- More creative resolutions that are acceptable to all parties are recommended.
- A third-party reviewer has not imposed undesirable resolutions on the parties.
- A durable and voluntary agreement is made.
Even when cases do not result in resolutions, ADR:
- Lays the groundwork for a subsequent settlement.
- clarifies the issues for a third-party review.