What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process in which a neutral third person assists disputing parties in an effort to reach a mutually acceptable resolution. It is a way to address a perceived violation of rights through dialogue and understanding.
Whenever a discrimination complaint is filed with the city, mediation is offered as an option. If both parties agree to that option, their case will be referred to and handled by city mediation services.
During the mediation process, both parties play an equal role in determining the terms of resolution. There is no finding of guilt or innocence in the process. Not every case is appropriate for mediation, but many cases brought to the Office of Human Rights each year are successfully mediated. Many mediated settlements are completed in one meeting.
If mediation is successful, the discrimination complaint filed with the Office of Human Rights is dismissed. If mediation is unsuccessful, the Office of Human Rights will begin an investigation into the human rights complaint.