Trauma Informed Mediation: Helping Distressed People in Mediation.

Mediation is a people occupation.  The best mediators quickly evaluate who is in the room and adapt.  Communication with cool, seasoned pros must differ from our interaction with people who are under the influence of significant distress. Yesterday, I attended… Continue Reading

EEOC Resolutions Announced Last Quarter.

GINA, transgender employees, methadone use, and a temporary restraining order prohibiting retaliation during litigation are among the issues raised in cases resolved by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last quarter. As usual, I’ll highlight the cases that struck me and… Continue Reading

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

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

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 Settlement Data for 3rd Quarter

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced settlements of 27 discrimination cases during the third quarter of 2013.  As usual, I will highlight what I found most interesting and summarize the settlement data on most of the other cases. Title VII… Continue Reading

Book Review: Narrative Mediation: A New Approach to Conflict Resolution

  “Narrative mediation” focuses on perceptions of the parties as revealed by their stories.  If a party says, “My boss has always been out to get me!” then that is the party’s reality, regardless of any objective truth.  Such “totalizing… Continue Reading

Big news! Employment Law Mediation Instead of Litigation.

After nearly one year as a mediator and 40 mediations, I have stopped representing either employers or employees as an attorney.  Now, for employment law, I serve only as an impartial mediator.  I hope you will consider me the next… Continue Reading

WHO needs mediation, and WHAT do they need?

Competent, experienced lawyers can agree upon settlement values. Other frequent mediation participants readily comprehend the benefits of settling. We mediators, I believe, earn our money by helping the person — plaintiff or defendant — for whom mediation is a one-time… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Rules on Use of Statistics

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals discussed the use of statistics in proving employment discrimination. By statistics, I mean trying to prove discrimination by comparing the numbers employees: for example, men compared to women or people over age… Continue Reading

Recent EEOC Disability Discrimination

The EEOC reported on four disability discrimination cases in March. Collectively, they show that some employers either do not understand their obligations or take calculated business risks when deciding to break the law. Managers should not nickname bipolar workers “Psycho.”… Continue Reading