California employees have many civil rights protections available. One of these is the right to be free from discrimination.
If you feel you are a victim of workplace discrimination, you can file a complaint with the California Civil Rights Department (“CRD”).
Mediation can be mandatory or voluntary
Once you file your complaint, you might be required to attend a mediation if the CRD investigates your complaint. You can also choose to attend mediation voluntarily.
Mediation is a meeting between you, your employer and a neutral third party. The purpose of mediation is to resolve the problem before beginning any courtroom litigation.
Your mediator is trained to resolve employment disputes like yours. They cannot decide the outcome of your case, but they can help guide you and your employer to an acceptable resolution.
Mediation is free and faster than litigation
There are several advantages to trying mediation. Mediation is free, and this is one of the biggest reasons many people choose to mediate.
Courtroom litigation is expensive and time-consuming. Additionally, leaving a decision up to one judge sometimes results in a dissatisfying outcome for both you and your employer.
Litigation rarely resolves disputes in a manner that allows both parties to maintain their relationship. There are usually negative feelings on both sides, no matter who wins or loses.
The difference with mediation is that the outcome is decided by you and your employer. You are under no obligation to agree with anything you do not want to, and that increases the chance that if you do resolve the dispute, you will leave with a better outcome.
Mediation keeps your dispute private
Mediation is confidential. This is a benefit to both you and your employer since you both may have valid reasons for keeping your employment disputes private.
You can have an attorney with you at your mediation, although it is not required. Talking over your situation with an employment attorney is still a good idea, as they can provide you with advice on the best option for your situation.