When an employee files a sexual harassment claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the EEOC’s goal is to resolve the issue. If it finds that sexual harassment did occur, it may facilitate a settlement between the employee and the company. This could involve mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution that creates an environment where the two parties can work together to reach a mutual goal.
Below are a few things to expect from your mediation session. Your lawyer can help you prepare for it by going over the mediation process beforehand.
Expect to be Guided, Not Led, Through a Conversation
In mediation, the parties involved in a dispute work with a mediator, a neutral third party, to discuss the problem at hand. Both parties state their positions at the outset, and are then guided through a conversation that acknowledges both positions and brainstorms possible solutions.
You will Have to Hear and Validate the Other Side’s Position
Although you feel you were wronged and that the company has to fix the problem, mediation is not this straightforward. One part of mediation is both parties’ acknowledgement of the other’s position. You will hear a clear retelling of the other party’s position, which could have been a misunderstanding or misdirection from a supervisor. It can be difficult, but this is a crucial part of mediation.
Your Claim’s Details Can Stay Private
If your case goes to court, its details become public information. With mediation, you get to keep the details of your case to yourself, including the eventual settlement. Mediation can prevent public embarrassment and rumors, which can protect all involved parties’ careers.
Prepare to Work Cooperatively
The goal is to reach a settlement that rectifies the issue. Through your guided conversation, you will ideally reach a fair settlement, which could involve one or more of the following:
- Monetary compensation for your financial damages;
- Transfer of the harasser to a new branch or position;
- Training for the harasser or all individuals in the company or office to prevent future cases of sexual harassment;
- Help securing you a new job; and
- Fixing past wrongs, such as giving you the promotion that was unfairly withheld from you through the harassment or discrimination.
Reaching a fair settlement like this often keeps valuable employees at the company while saving all involved parties money. Going to court is expensive and can be a time-consuming process.
Work with an Experienced Chicago Sexual Harassment Lawyer
If you are a victim of workplace sexual harassment, you have the right to file a sexual harassment claim and seek compensation for your resulting damages. Compensation can include changes to your work environment to prevent the harassment from happening again. To learn more about taking action after facing sexual harassment, contact The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline today to set up your initial consultation with an experienced sexual harassment lawyer.