Welcome to the Federal Communications Commission’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Program!!
The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Program "Don't Escalate, Choose to Mediate" aims to prevent and resolve workplace conflict in a fair, amicable, timely, equitable and cost-effective manner. While workplace conflicts may be addressed through the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint process, the grievance processes, or other forums, ADR is readily available as a voluntary option to resolve EEO and non-EEO disputes at the earliest opportunity and the lowest possible level. In fact, ADR has been successfully applied throughout the Federal government in a wide array of dispute areas, including EEO actions, employment actions, performance matters, and other workplace issues.
What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?
ADR is a way of informally resolving workplace conflicts in a consensual manner other than the traditional formal litigation process. By working with a neutral third-party, individuals are empowered to craft their own solutions to conflicts through the use of various techniques such as mediation; facilitation; early neutral evaluation; mini-trial; and arbitration.
Mediation at the FCC
At the FCC, the primary ADR technique used to resolve workplace conflicts is mediation. Mediation is a confidential informal process in which a trained neutral third party outside the Agency assists you and others to the conflict in reaching a voluntary, mutually agreeable settlement. It gives each of you the opportunity to
- Discuss the issues,
- Clear up misunderstandings,
- Determine each other’s underlying interests or concerns,
- Find areas of agreement, and,
- Incorporate those areas of agreement into resolutions.
The mediator does not determine the resolution for you, but rather, helps each of you to agree to your own mutually acceptable resolution of the conflict.
By agreeing to mediate, you do not give up your right to file a formal EEO complaint or a grievance. If mediation does not result in a mutual agreement, you may pursue more formal avenues to resolve your issues. There are mandatory timelines for filing an EEO complaint and for pursuing administrative and negotiated grievances. These mandatory timelines may still apply even if you attempt to resolve a conflict through mediation. Those who initiate a complaint or grievance and then choose ADR as the method to attempt resolution of their conflict still must comply with these timelines.
Alternative Dispute Resolution is a powerful tool which can offer a fair and just means to resolve disputes, reduce costs, enhance performance and preserve relationships for a healthy and enjoyable workplace. So, don’t Escalate; Choose to Mediate!