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Under what circumstances does it become necessary to hire mediators to resolve employee disputes?

Answers

Topic Expert
Keith Perry
Title: Consulting CFO and Business Operations A..
Company: Growth Accelerator
(Consulting CFO and Business Operations Advisor, Growth Accelerator) |

When it is cheaper (as in settling a dispute on an employee contract), or;
When you benefit from a third-party's signature (see above), or;
When either party feels that there has been a breach of trust (again, above), or;
When it is a competence issue (think: two valuable employees who really don't get along, and the otherwise competent manager(s) struggle to resolve it).

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

To add on to what Keith says - it really depends on the situation at hand. Certain topics have way greater effects than others. If you are talking about a "he/she stole my sale" dispute or something that could lead to a discriminatory allegation later my advice would be different.

Topic Expert
Malak Kazan
Title: VP, Special Projects
Company: ERI Economic Research Institute
(VP, Special Projects, ERI Economic Research Institute) |

Depending on the circumstance, the situation requires a neutral, non-threatening, third party to resolve workplace conflct "quickly" and effectively. In most companies this could be HR and some companies have a policy that may stipulate the use of a mediator (which in most cases is an attorney) to prevent litigation. Mediation works if considered early in the conflict and the resolution needs to be "fair" to prevent litigation.

Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

I do not recommend outsourcing an employee dispute to a mediator. Your money is better spent hiring a Consultant to teach your internal HR the steps to resolve conflict. If that is not possible, the issue should be escalated to your legal counsel. If the case were ever to go to court, the impartiality and credentials of the mediator will be the focus and then the employee dispute. Not sure the benefits of an outside mediator justifies this risk.

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