Workplace discrimination in Oregon should be taken seriously. It is illegal under federal law for your employer to discriminate against you because of your race, gender, sexual orientation or various other characteristics.
Being a victim of discrimination can be a horrible experience. You might fear damage to your career or reputation if you speak up, so you silently suffer through the discrimination.
If you decide that you have had enough and want to fight back, you can file a discrimination claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against your employer. After your claim is filed, an EEOC representative may contact you to see if you would like to participate in mediation.
Do not say no without giving mediation some serious thought
It is understandable if your first instinct is to say no to mediation. After experiencing discrimination, you may want to proceed directly to courtroom litigation, believing that this is their best option to achieve justice.
However, before deciding, you should have a clear idea of what mediation involves. Mediation is a meeting between you, your employer and a mediator. A mediator is not a judge and cannot decide the outcome of your situation.
Rather, a mediator is a neutral third party whose job it is to listen to both sides present their positions and try to guide them to a resolution.
Mediation saves money and time
There are several advantages to trying mediation. It is free, which is one of the biggest benefits of using it as a mechanism to potentially resolve your dispute. Litigating a discrimination claim can be expensive, and there is no guarantee of a favorable outcome.
Mediation is also quicker than litigation. While litigation can stretch out for months or even years, mediation is one of the first steps in the process.
Mediation is confidential
Many times, you will receive a more favorable result at mediation, because you had a say in the outcome. Additionally, everything said in mediation is confidential.
This is a bigger benefit than you may initially realize. Even if you successfully litigate your employment discrimination claim, you could have trouble finding future employment if details of your lawsuit become known.
Although there are advantages to mediation, your case is unique to you. Talking over your situation with an employment attorney can help you decide which option is best for you.