EEOC Resolutions Last Quarter

Must employer accommodate a religious belief that its biometric time clock is a “Mark of the Beast?” May employee obtain a temporary restraining order against imminent termination? Under what circumstances can criminal background checks constitute discrimination? Answers to these questions… Continue Reading

Jacqueline Abel shares mediator best practices.

Jacqueline Abel is well known to Oregon’s mediation community.  Few have more experience and exposure to mediation. It was my pleasure to work with her and learn from her when she served as Mediation Coordinator for Multnomah County’s Court. Upon… Continue Reading

Half-hour Mediation Prevents Malpractice Lawsuit.

True story. Cara (not her real name) “knew” her Portland lawyer, “Paul,” had malpracticed because another lawyer had confirmed her suspicion that Paul screwed up. Cara called me to see if I would sue her lawyer and / or take… Continue Reading

New AAA Rules Require Mediation.

The American Arbitration Association updated its rules for resolving construction disputes. Effective July 1, 2015, the rules require mediation of claims exceeding $100,000. Rule 10, however, is relatively toothless. Unless the parties’ initial agreement requires mediation, any party may opt… Continue Reading

Mediation Confidentiality Rules from Oregon Department of Justice

The Attorney General has developed two mediation confidentiality rules: A rule for the mediation of workplace interpersonal disputes and a rule covering most other mediations. Agencies may adopt either rule or both rules. With the passage of SB 189 (2015)… Continue Reading

First Quarter EEOC Settlements.

Accommodating Rastafarian hair, overly broad medical inquiries, and the continued use of the “N-word” are among the items that caught my eye in EEOC news releases. This post highlights what interested me and then summarizes all settlements announced during the… Continue Reading

Motivational Interviewing: a Mediator Tool to Help Ambivalent Parties

The parties are close, but both resist one final move. That is the predictable third impasse in many mediations. Some people resist because of stubbornness and others because of ambivalence. Mediators can borrow concepts from Motivational Interviewing to help ambivalent… Continue Reading

EEOC Resolutions for 3rd Quarter

Hostile “huddles?” Slavery in paradise?  Employer website photos evidence discrimination? Severance agreements discourage EEOC complaints?   These cases caught my eye during my review of the EEOC resolutions announced in the Third Quarter of 2014.  Blurbs on them and a… Continue Reading

Building Rapport is an Essential Skill for Successful Mediators

“The key to mediator success lies in developing rapport with the disputing parties,” concluded Professor Stephen Goldberg of the Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. Professor Goldberg surveyed mediators and disputants over a number of years to determine what… Continue Reading

EEOC Resolutions Announced During the Second Quarter

A lewd customer, combined with management’s failure to respond appropriately to employee complaints about him, cost Oregon retailer Fred Meyer $487,500 to settle sexual harassment charges.  That story, generalized anxiety disorder as a disability, and more, as I recap EEOC… Continue Reading

Early Discussion and Resolution of Adverse Health Care Incidents in Oregon

Today, Oregon’s new law for the Resolution of Adverse Health Care Incidents becomes operational. Here are the top ten things to know about it: [11.]   I’m certified as a mediator for the program with the Oregon Patient Safety Commission. 10.… Continue Reading

Mediate in Lieu of Mandatory Arbitration

For civil suits under $50,000, state law requires nonbinding arbitration.  However, an underused local rule allows parties to Multnomah County lawsuits to substitute mediation for nonbinding arbitration. Mediation is a great option because arbitration is not always the best way… Continue Reading

EEOC Resolutions Announced during First Quarter

A couple of Walmart cases plus another GINA case were among the resolutions announced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) during the first quarter of 2014.  As usual, I will highlight what I found most interesting and summarize the… Continue Reading