Alternative Dispute Resolution
“The mission of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Team is to minimize disruption in the workplace; preserve business relationships; foster a respectful work environment; build trust; promote communication; and provide efficient, effective ADR services to CDC/ATSDR employees.”
CDC/ATSDR believes that people are valuable and should have the right tools to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. ADR is one of those tools. The Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Workplace Equity (OEEOWE), through the ADR Program, offers an unbiased, neutral resource for all employees toward preventing and managing workplace conflicts. ADR deals with each situation individually and confidentially.
ADR is a confidential resource available to employees if you:
- Are not sure to whom to talk about concerns or issues in your workplace
- Want to discuss options for resolving workplace disputes at various levels (coworkers or management)
- Are looking for an informal, non-escalating approach to resolving conflicts
ADR is a collection of processes, such as Mediation or Facilitated Discussion, elected by employees to resolve workplace conflicts or disputes informally and confidentially. These processes are called alternative because they are an alternative to other more formal processes, such as grievances and EEO complaints; however, ADR does not displace those traditional processes. ADR can be elected independently, referred to as Early Intervention, or in conjunction with the EEO or grievance process.
ADR is voluntary on the part of the employee that elects to utilize the service. Only employees may elect to use ADR. Management may suggest or recommend using mediation or other forms of ADR, but it is always up to the employee to decide. The employee should not feel pressured to elect ADR by anyone.
It is CDC’s policy, that when an employee elects to use ADR, management is required to participate in good faith. Good faith is defined as coming to ADR prepared, willing to engage in dialogue, actively listening and working toward reaching mutually acceptable resolutions regarding issues or disputes raised by an employee. ADR empowers and enables the participating parties to have ownership and control over the outcome of the process.
A neutral third party, or mediator, helps participants in ADR to communicate, develop ideas, and reach a mutual agreement on issues or disputes. Mediators do not take sides, represent participants, provide advice, or decide outcomes. When an agreement is reached through ADR, the mediator is responsible for capturing the terms of the agreement in writing. A written and signed agreement reached in ADR becomes a contact between the employee and the agency.
ADR has experienced mediators available to provide the following services:
- Employee and management consultations
- Mediation/ Facilitated Discussion