Mediation is a process whereby a neutral third party seeks to facilitate an agreement between two parties who have a disagreement.
Mediation is mandatory according to the State Employee Grievance Procedure Act and seeks to reach a mutually acceptable agreement between the parties before a final decision is required by the State Employee Grievance Committee or an arbitrator.
Mediation conferences are confidential, and participants are limited to no more than three representatives, including legal counsel and the covered employee, for each party. The parties who attend a mediation conference must have full authority to negotiate and recommend settlement. Since the mediation conference is not an evidentiary hearing, witness testimony during the conference is not appropriate.
It may be helpful for each party to prepare a brief opening statement, which should not exceed five minutes, to be presented at the mediation conference.