Business disputes happen, sometimes between companies and sometimes between employers and employees. As compared to litigation, mediation is a flexible and innovative way to resolve business disputes and produce a mutually beneficial result for the participants.
In mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), a neutral mediator assists the parties to negotiate and resolve their dispute. Mediation takes place outside the courtroom in more relaxed surroundings. Whereas litigation is often a lengthy, contentious process, mediation takes less time and is therefore less expensive. The mediator is not emotionally invested in the dispute. The role of this neutral third party is not to take sides nor render a decision in the dispute but rather to work with facts and legal issues to help the parties achieve an outcome that is satisfactory to all concerned.
Mediation of employee disputes
Mediation is a popular option for resolving employer-employee disputes, such as wage issues or employee complaints quickly and effectively. It can also be beneficial when resolving contentious issues among business partners, saving them the time and expense of going to court. If a dispute escalates into litigation, most courts will require the parties to engage in mediation. Judges favor mediation because a settled case is removed from their crowded dockets and mediation results in settlement about 70% of the time.
Innovation and flexibility
Mediation is a good way to resolve issues in a flexible manner. Taking a dispute to court pits one side against the other and there is a winner and a loser, with the only remedy usually being an award of money. With mediation, it is possible for both sides to “win” through a compromised settlement, and the parties are often able to be creative to obtain satisfactory terms beyond money.