For those who believe they are the victim of sexual harassment, the experience can be painful, frightening, and embarrassing. One is hesitant to report these incidents for fear of retaliation, and the prospect of legal action can lead to even greater anxiety.
Fortunately, there is an alternative to legal remedies: Mediation. Mediation is an informal, yet structured process that allows people who believe they may be the victim of sexual harassment the opportunity to meet directly with those they believe are engaging in such behavior in a neutral, confidential setting. In the mediation session, the facts are aired, questions are answered, the impact shared, and a resolution is sought.
The process is successful 95% of the time in which the parties agree to participate. The successful outcome results in a signed Agreement that is agreeable to all parties and shared with the appropriate department for implementation and oversight.
For organizations, sexual harassment disputes are costly, not only in litigation expense, but also in terms of staff time to deal with them. With mediation, sexual harassment disputes can be resolved relatively quickly, and early referrals significantly reduce the time it takes to fully investigate them by traditional means.
Some sexual harassment claims involve only one or a few individuals. Some involve entire departments. These types of disputes can spread quickly and poison an otherwise positive work environment. Mediation gives the grieving and responding parties an opportunity to candidly air their views and get direct feedback and answers to questions. The mediation process is successful 95% of the time when the parties agree to participate. Positive, long-term, and lasting resolutions are possible when these issues are aired and thoroughly resolved in mediation.
In addition, thousands of dollars in legal fees can be avoided by the early referral of these cases.