Prepare for Mediation (Better than Your Former Employee)
July 15, 2015
Are You Prepared for Mediation? Your Employee Is!
A good employment attorney has worked for both employers and employees. With this experience, an attorney gains perspective about all sorts of legal, logistic, and emotional motivators. Often, the saying “what is good for the goose is good for the gander” aptly applies with employee-employer disputes. This is particularly true related to mediation with a Civil Rights or EEO mediator.
Employees are often looking for the most efficient, or cheap, representation they can find…because employees in this situation tend to be unemployed. A good strategy to keep employee-side attorney fees down is for the individual be so organized that your complaint reads like a book. In this way, the preparation time for an attorney is greatly reduced. These are the type of tips an employee is likely to hear when preparing for mediation with an employer:
Emotion Isn’t Illegal in Mediation
It is important to convey all the pertinent information to your employer but not all the information. Spend time with your attorney identifying what is illegal and what is not illegal. This often turns into advice like “it not illegal to be a jerk but it is illegal to treat you differently because of your race.” While it is important for your attorney to get an idea about the type of supervisor you had, it may not be important to understand that he often made rude comments about your cube mate’s shoe style or your alma mater. In highly emotional situations, advise may often include the instruction to organize all the instances of rudeness into one category because it is cathartic and helps the employee focus on what is illegal.
Create A Timeline of Events Relevant To The Mediation
It can take a long time for someone to explain all the instances and circumstance and relevant incidents. The best way I have found is to create a timeline. Human nature is to tell a story in a circular manner but that is not particularly helpful in mediation preparation.
Create A Character List
Some actions are only relevant if a supervisor performed the action but “supervisor” can mean different things in different scenarios. Creating a documented cast of characters will allow an attorney to understand the relevance of certain actions. It is also important to understand when someone moved in and out of certain positions so an attorney can compare it to the timeline.
If your Austin company is facing an employment mediation, it is incredibly likely that your former, or complaining, employee has created these documents. So, you should do the same. It will help you reduce your legal expenses, help your attorney to have a complete perspective, and allow your attorney to directly combat claims about accusations in a parallel format. Because, what is good for the goose is goose to prepare and reduce expenses is good for the gander to prepare and reduce expenses.