Mediating an Employment Disputes in Florida
If you are initiating an employment dispute against your employer in Florida, you may want to consider mediation instead of litigating your case. Mediation is a procedure where a neutral third party mediator aids parties in reaching a voluntary agreement between themselves outside of court. In employment cases, mediation ordinarily occurs between you, a representative for your employer, and a certified mediator. The mediator helps parties outline their goals for the mediation and facilitate discussion between both sides.
What Are the Steps to Mediation?
The mediation process is an informal one. The mediator will begin by introducing themselves and outlining the structure of the mediation. Both parties will then take turns presenting their respective positions to the mediator. The mediator will then set an “agenda” of what they see the key contested issues are. After the parties have had an opportunity to have open dialogue with each other about some of the issues on the agenda, the mediator may ask the parties to speak separately to try to determine how far apart the parties are on resolving the case at mediation. The parties may present any visuals or evidence they brought to the mediation to support their claim.
It should be noted that no party should go into a mediation anticipating that they will get everything they want. Mediation is a means to effectuate a compromise that both parties find satisfactory. To do this, a mediator will explore potential resolutions to the outstanding issues with both parties. However, the ultimate decision of whether the parties come to an agreement is with the parties themselves.
What Happens If You Do Not Come to an Agreement During Mediation?
If you are unable to come to an agreement with your employer during mediation, your case will proceed to a full hearing before a Florida court. Mediations are a completely confidential process so any terms of a partial agreement reached between you and your employer are inadmissible in court and cannot later be used against you. Accordingly, the mediator will destroy all notes taken during the mediation session so they cannot be presented to the court. That being said, a party should be careful in what they disclose in mediation in case the mediation is unsuccessful. If a party puts all their cards on the table, they may not have any left to play if the case goes to a full hearing.
Contact an Experienced Clearwater Employment Lawyer Today
If you are initiating a dispute against your employer, you may want to consider mediation and consider having an experienced employment lawyer with you at the mediation. It is best to hire a lawyer to evaluate your claim and determine if there are any facts that you may not want to disclose during the mediation. The experienced Clearwater employment law attorneys at Dilla Employment Law, P.A. can help ensure you are at ease during the mediation process and that your rights are protected during the mediation and after if your case is not resolved during mediation. Contact us today for a free consultation.