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One way NERC may resolve claims of discrimination is through mediation, which is a form of alternative dispute resolution. Mediation is an informal process in which a trained mediator assists the parties in reaching a negotiated resolution of a charge of discrimination. The mediator does not decide who is right or wrong and has no authority to impose a settlement on the parties. Instead, the mediator helps the parties to jointly explore and reconcile their differences. A mediation email address is available for the specific use of submitting Election of Response Forms and Position Statements utilized in mediation hearings.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mediation

No. Participation in the mediation program is strictly voluntary. If either party declines to participate in mediation, the charge will be processed just like any other charge.
Only mediators who are experienced and trained in mediation and equal opportunity law are assigned to mediate charges. Mediators are neutral unbiased professionals with no stake in the outcome of the mediation process.
Mediation will usually take place early in the process prior to an investigation of the charge. Offering mediation to the parties prior to an investigation saves Commission resources by avoiding the investigation of a charge that might be appropriately resolved through mediation. In addition, mediation prior to an investigation prevents the hardening of positions that can occur during a lengthy investigation.
Yes. Either party can request mediation as long as both parties agree to participate.
Yes. The Commission maintains strict confidentiality in its mediation program. The mediator and the parties must verbally agree that they will keep everything that is revealed during the mediation confidential.
The charging party and a representative of the respondent should attend the mediation session. The person representing the respondent should be familiar with the facts of the charge and have the authority to settle the charge on behalf of the respondent.
Yes. While it is not necessary to have an attorney or other representative in order to participate in the mediation program, either party may choose to do so. The mediator will decide what role the attorney or representative will play during the mediation. The mediator may ask that they provide advice and counsel, but not speak for a party. If a party plans to bring an attorney or other representative to the mediation session, he or she can discuss this with the mediator prior to the mediation session.
No. The Commission evaluates each charge to determine whether it is appropriate for mediation considering such factors as the nature of the case, the relationship of the parties, the size and complexity of the case, and the relief sought by the charging party. Charges that are determined to be without merit are not eligible for mediation.
If a charge is not resolved during the mediation process, the charge is returned to an investigative unit, and is processed just like any other charge.
No. There is no fee for the mediation.
An agreement reached during mediation is enforceable in court just like any other settlement agreement resolving a charge of discrimination filed with the commission. If either party believes that the other party has failed to comply with a mediated settlement agreement, he or she should consult a private attorney. The Nevada Equal Rights Commission is not a party to a settlement agreement, nor does it enforce settlement agreements.
Yes. Participants in the mediation program indicate a high degree of satisfaction with the program. It is a fair and efficient process that can avoid a lengthy investigation and the possibility of unnecessary litigation.
No. Since the entire mediation process is strictly confidential, information revealed during the mediation session cannot be disclosed to anyone including other Commission personnel. Therefore, it cannot be used during any subsequent investigation.
Yes, in many cases, the settlement involves a non-monetary benefit. The Commission supports settlement agreements that are acceptable to both parties, including agreements that do not include money.
Mediation provides a neutral and confidential setting where both parties can openly discuss information about the underlying dispute. Through enhanced communication, mediation can foster improved working and business relationships and a better understanding of factors which may be affecting the overall business environment.

For more information about mediation, contact the Equal Rights Commission office.