EEOC's 72nd National Mediation Agreement and First with Silicon Valley High-Tech Company
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Intel Corporation, the world's largest chip maker, today announced the signing of a partnership in the form of a National Universal Agreement to Mediate (NUAM) to informally resolve workplace disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) prior to an EEOC investigation or potential litigation.
The NUAM, the 72nd such agreement signed by EEOC with Corporate America, is the first such mediation partnership with a Silicon Valley company and will cover Intel workplaces in nearly all 50 states. Intel Corporation employs over 78,000 workers in 48 nations worldwide and has 294 worldwide offices and facilities. In 1971, Intel created the world's first microprocessor, and currently offers over 450 products and services. Intel is ranked 65th on the Fortune 500 list and, for the second year in a row, Business Ethics has ranked Intel #3 on its list of Best Corporate Citizens.
"We commend Intel for partnering with us to promote the use of workplace mediation," said EEOC Chair Cari M. Dominguez during the signing ceremony at Intel headquarters in Santa Clara, California. "The Commission is pleased to see a global high tech industry leader publicly recognize and embrace EEOC mediation. We hope other high-tech employers in Silicon Valley and across the country follow the example that Intel has set," she said.
Dominguez noted that today's NUAM bolsters a multi-year trend of Corporate America signing on to the Commission's widely-acclaimed mediation program, one of the largest employment-related ADR programs of its kind nationwide, with more than 11,500 mediations conducted annually.
Patricia Murray, Intel's Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources, stated, "We have long had a strong partnership with the EEOC to ensure a discrimination-free workplace that honors the diversity of today's workforce. We are delighted to build on this partnership by joining their national mediation program. The program will help resolve employment disputes as early and fairly as possible."
Under the terms of the NUAM, all eligible charges of discrimination filed with the Commission naming Intel as the employer/respondent will be referred to the EEOC's mediation unit, as appropriate. The company will designate a corporate representative to handle all inquiries and other logistical matters related to potential charges in order to facilitate a prompt scheduling of the matter for EEOC mediation.
"As a Silicon Valley leader, Intel sets a great example by signaling their commitment to ADR," added Joan Ehrlich, District Director of EEOC's San Francisco District Office. "Employers are increasingly recognizing the many benefits of our voluntary mediation program which addresses employment disputes in a fair, timely, cost-effective and non-adversarial manner."
The expansion and promotion of ADR and voluntary mediation is the centerpiece of Chair Dominguez's Five-Point Plan to improve EEOC's overall operations. In addition to EEOC's 72 national mediation agreements with large employers, agency district offices have entered into more than 600 local mediation agreements with companies at the state or regional levels within their respective jurisdictions.
Since 1999 when the program was implemented nationally, EEOC has mediated more than 50,000 cases with approximately 70% being successfully resolved in an average time of 83 days - nearly half the time it takes to resolve a charge through the investigative process. Additionally, EEOC's experience over the years has shown that 13-20% of mediated cases are resolved based solely on a non-monetary benefit. A comprehensive survey conducted by independent researchers showed that 91% of charging parties and 96% of employers would use EEOC's mediation program again if a charge was filed - irrespective of issues, bases, size of employer, or whether the charge was resolved or not. The study concluded that the parties saw the EEOC's process as fair, neutral, and efficient.
The EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals 40 years of age or older; sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991; the Equal Pay Act; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; and the Rehabilitation Act's prohibitions against disability discrimination in the federal government. Further information about the EEOC's National Mediation Program is available on the agency's web site at www.eeoc.gov/mediate.