Alternative Dispute Resolution
CDC/ATSDR believes that people are a valuable asset and that they should be given the right tools so they can perform to the best of their abilities. Alternative Dispute Resolution is one of those tools. The Office of Diversity Management and Equal Employment Opportunity (ODMEEO) offers an unbiased, neutral resource for all employees. We don't take sides. We do help generate options and discuss possible outcomes for each one, but the employee must choose the course of action. Each situation is dealt with individually and with complete confidentiality.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a collection of processes used for the purpose of resolving conflict or disputes informally and confidentially. ADR provides alternatives to traditional processes, such as grievances and complaints; however, it does not displace those traditional processes. The Alternative Dispute Resolution Office is a resource available to CDC and ATSDR employees at all levels. The ADR Office is a resource when employees need advice about how to deal directly with a concern, if the employee is uncertain about taking a problem through other established channels, is not sure who to talk with about a problem or concern, wants an informal, non-escalating approach, needs a fresh, impartial perspective, wants to discuss strategies or possible options for resolving a concern and if employees want to maintain the greatest possible flexibility in how to approach a concern or simply need a sounding board.
ADR is generally voluntary. However, at CDC and ATSDR managers and supervisors are required to participate in ADR processes when employees choose this mechanism for resolution of work place disputes. ADR empowers and enables the participating parties to develop and seek mutually acceptable solutions, which they choose to meet their needs. Generally, ADR uses a neutral third party to help the parties communicate, develop ideas and resolve the dispute.
Some reasons for using ADR are that it is faster, less costly, easier, less formality involved, less confrontational or adversarial, it encourages creativity and searching for practical solutions, it avoids the unpredictability involved when decisions are rendered as a result of the traditional dispute resolution mechanisms. The ADR process usually results in improved communications between disputing parties and is therefore better for ongoing relationships, increases workplace morale and can make an employee feel better about coming to work, results in participant satisfaction, solutions tend to be durable or long lasting since they have the “buy in” of all parties involved, publicity is avoided and most importantly, the parties retain control of the outcome. An employee has NOTHING TO LOSE by using ADR since all statutory entitlements remain intact.
Dana Williams, JD Dispute Resolution Manager
Office of Dispute Resolution and Equal Employment Opportunity
1600 Clifton Road SE, Mailstop – K-83
Atlanta, GA 30333
(770) 488-3233 , (770) 488-3195 – fax