The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

VII. Key Comparisons to Prior Employment Mediation Research

The research results indicate that the present EEOC program is much more acceptable to the parties than the pilot EEOC mediation program studied by McEwen. While McEwen found that 66% of the charging parties were satisfied with the fairness of mediation session, this study reported a 79% satisfaction rate. Similarly, instead of a 72% respondent satisfaction rate, these study results established an 87% rate.

Moreover, while McEwen found that 84% of the charging parties indicated that they would use the pilot program mediation again, 91% in this study would use the present program again. Similarly, the percentage of respondents who indicated their willingness to return increased from 83% to 96%.

These survey results are also more positive than those found by Kochan at MCAD. While Kochan's survey questions were slightly different from those in our survey, the mediators in the EEOC program were rated higher in key areas. For example, in the MCAD study, when asked if the mediator provided an opportunity to express opinions, 75% of the charging parties agreed or strongly agreed. In our survey 90% of the charging parties agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that they had a full opportunity to present their views. The results were similar for respondents with 85% of the MCAD respondents indicating they had an opportunity to express their views versus a 95% response rate in our survey.

Regarding participant belief about whether the mediator understood the case, although the MCAD survey question was framed somewhat differently, 70% of the MCAD charging parties believed the mediator understood the dispute while 86% of the charging parties in this survey reported that the mediator understood their needs. For respondents the results obtained by Kochan and by our surveys were almost the same, with 88% in the MCAD study and 87% in our study indicating that the mediator understood the case or their needs.

Regarding their willingness to participate in the program in the future, 63% of MCAD charging parties and 77% of respondents would do so. For the EEOC program, the results are strikingly higher with 91% of the charging parties and 96% of the respondents willing to do it again.

Finally, participant responses regarding the fairness of the outcome differed between the MCAD study and our study. The MCAD study asked the participants whether the outcome was fair. Only 30% of the charging parties and 35% of the respondents stated that the outcome was fair in the MCAD study. We asked the participants to indicate whether they were satisfied with the fairness of the mediation session. Seventy-nine percent of the EEOC charging parties and 87% of the respondents indicated that the mediation session was fair. While the outcome with regard to fairness was assessed differently in the two studies ("outcome was fair" vs. "mediation session was fair"), these differences are nonetheless striking.

Fifty percent of the MCAD charging parties indicated that they were satisfied with the "overall outcome." For EEOC charging parties, 55% reported that they were satisfied with the "results of the mediation," a measure that is deemed to be a comparable distributive measure. For respondents, a higher percentage in the MCAD study reported satisfaction with the overall mediation outcome (68%) than were reported for the EEOC respondents (63%).

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