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First and foremost the mediator will not make a finding, assign fault, or determine no cause exists. The mediator is a facilitator for obtaining a settlement.
The mediation conference is not designed to validate, or otherwise decide any issues of fault. The mediation will start out with you giving a description of the discrimination you feel you experienced. You will describe what it is you want to settle the matter.
The same opportunity will be afforded to the employer. Again the role of the mediator is not to decide who is right or wrong simply to get a dialog started.
The mediator will then try to explore options at arriving at a settlement. This will include give and take between the parties. Different options will be explored in terms of settlement. the mediator will try to get you to accept less and the employer to offer more in order to get an agreement. If no agreement can be worked out the mediation ends and the process continues.
mediators will start with face to face discussion. The mediator then decide to have private conferences with each party. The substance of the conference is confidential unless you give permission to disclose.
In order to be successful at any mediation you need to establish your botXXXXX XXXXXne. Going in you need to have in your mind where the point of no return is. Right or wrong is not at issue in the mediation on what agreement can be achieved. I would highly recommend obtaining and reading a book entitled "Getting to Yes" this will explain mediation tactics you can use, or will be used against you.
You will need to ascertain the strength of your position. This will be based on the opening remarks of the employer. You can ask the employer what their policy is on employees with disabilities and how many employee have disabilities on their payroll. You can ask them to explain the basis for not hiring you. The strength of their position should provide insight onto what you can ask for.
Many companies have a dollar value they will pay (nuisance value) to avoid a law suit. If they feel confident on being able to win it is unlikely they will go beyond this nuisance value.
You should also be aware that the employer will undoubtedly come with their attorney. They may try to bully you with legal terms and jargon. You should read up on what the disability laws are so you can be prepared. If you do not understand something ask the mediator to get a full explanation of what is being said/proposed.
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