Mediation, Discrimination
Mediation, Discrimination
Mediation, Discrimination
Mediation, Discrimination
Mediation, Discrimination
Mediation, Discrimination
Mediation, Discrimination
Mediation, Discrimination
Mediation, Discrimination
Mediation, Discrimination
Mediation, Discrimination
Mediation, Discrimination
Mediation, Discrimination
 
Mediation, Discrimination
Mediation, Discrimination Mediation, Discrimination Mediation, Discrimination Mediation, Discrimination Mediation, Discrimination
Mediation, Discrimination
Mediation, Discrimination
Mediation, Discrimination
Mediation, Discrimination
 
Mediation, Discrimination
Mediation, Discrimination


The following three examples typify my work with emotion-filled, diversity-related employment cases. The first two are mediations, while the third is a client relations/case support assignment.


Racial Discrimination

Situation: A male, African-American employee had charged wrongful termination against a large entertainment company. After a prior failed mediation, the employee claimed he did not trust “white mediators.” The company needed to be sure that the next mediator could better relate to the plaintiff, but at the same time would not be subject to bias against the company.

My Contribution: Before being retained to mediate this case, I interviewed both sides. During this process, I discovered the real underlying problem: The employee did not understand the purpose or process of mediation, and he was unable (or too intimidated) to communicate this to others. After I patiently explained all that was involved in mediation, he was eager to participate. I then helped him frame his point of view.

My interview with the company’s HR negotiator was equally demanding in terms of addressing her particular needs. But after hearing my approach to mediation and reviewing my credentials, she readily selected me to mediate the case.

Outcome: The mediation was successful and resulted in a mutually satisfying severance.


Disability Discrimination

Situation: This was a combined EEOC and Workers’ Compensation case involving a major beverage company. A work-related injury resulted in the plaintiff’s disability, and she had subsequently charged the company with discrimination in its return-to-work practices. During the mediation, it became apparent that the emotion-driven communication style of the plaintiff seriously conflicted with the stick-to-the-facts style of the defense attorney. Accordingly, there appeared to be little chance of avoiding a trial.
 
My Contribution: Realizing that the other side could not hear the plaintiff’s explanation of the facts because of her emotional state, I separated the parties. After a period of time, I was able to sort through the plaintiff’s emotions to uncover her facts, which I translated for the other side in a palatable way. I then helped the defense appreciate the validity behind the feelings inherent in the plaintiff’s facts. Ultimately, I helped both sides redefine their opinions of a winning outcome.

Outcome: The case was successfully mediated, resulting in a mutually satisfying severance instead of an uncertain return-to-work accommodation.


Sexual Harassment

Situation: After considering the merits of the sexual harassment case against a major retailer and the emotional toll a trial would have on his client, the plaintiff’s attorney decided to use mediation as a way for the defendant and his attorneys to preview how powerfully credible the plaintiff would appear before a jury. Although the plaintiff agreed to participate in mediation, she surprised her attorney by absolutely refusing to be in the same room as the defendant. She said that she “just couldn’t face him ever again.”
 
My Contribution: The plaintiff’s attorney hired me as a coach to work with his client. First, I explained the negative case-strength assumptions the other side would make if she failed to meet. Then, after verifying that fear was at the root of her resistance, I structured the process so that it was completely safe for her. I told her that I would be at her side in this “room full of men” to support or speak for her if needed. I also reinforced what her attorney had already told her, namely, that she had the power to end the session at any time and that she would not be coerced into signing anything.
 
Outcome: The case settled in mediation because the client came across strongly.

 

Mediation, Discrimination
About Therese | Client Service | Free Consultation | Contact | Inner Circle Archive | Sitemap
© Copyright 2009. L. Therese White. All rights reserved. Disclaimer | Privacy Policy