Alternative Dispute Resolution
“The mission of the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) team is to minimize disruption in our workplace; preserve business relationships; foster a respectful environment; build trust; promote better communication; and provide efficient, effective ADR services to CDC and ATSDR employees.”
CDC and ATSDR believe that people are valuable and should have the right tools to perform to the best of their abilities. Alternative Dispute Resolution is one of those tools. To prevent and manage disruptive workplace conflicts, the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (OEEO) offers an unbiased, neutral resource for all employees. We don’t take sides. We do help generate options and discuss possible outcomes, and then the employee chooses their preferred course of action. OEEO deals with each situation individually and with complete confidentiality.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a collection of processes used to informally, and confidentially, resolve conflicts or disputes. These processes are called alternative because they are an alternative to grievances and complaints; however, it does not displace those traditional processes. We are a resource available to all CDC and ATSDR employees if you:
- Need advice about how to deal directly with a concern
- Are uncertain about taking a problem through other channels
- Are not sure who to talk with about a problem or concern
- Want an informal, non-escalating approach
- Need a fresh, impartial perspective
- Want to discuss strategies or possible options for resolving a concern
- Want to maintain the greatest possible flexibility in how to approach a concern
- Simply need a sounding board
ADR is generally voluntary. However, CDC and ATSDR managers and supervisors are required to participate in resolution processes when employees choose this mechanism to resolve 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:
- It is faster, cheaper, easier, less formal, and 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 process usually results in improved communications between disputing parties and is therefore better for ongoing relationships.
- It increases workplace morale and can make you feel better about coming to work.
- Solutions tend to be durable or long lasting since they have the “buy-in” of all parties involved.
- It avoids publicity.
- The parties retain control of the outcome.
- There is no risk since all statutory entitlements remain intact.
OEEO has experienced mediators/specialists available to provide the following services:
- Employee and management consultations
- Organizational assessments
- Conflict coaching
- Fact-finding/informal (non-EEO-related) investigations
- Facilitation of management and staff meetings and retreats
- Conflict resolution and management
- Prevention of bullying and harassment
- Effective communication
- Team building (with DiSC profile)