National Temp Agency Signs Universal Agreement to Mediate
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Cari M. Dominguez, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), today signed its latest National Universal Agreement to Mediate (NUAM) with Labor Ready, Inc., the nation's leading provider of temporary manual labor, continuing the EEOC's program of forging partnerships between EEOC and corporate America. The agreement marks the 34th such national agreement signed between the EEOC and a major corporation to resolve workplace disputes informally through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) prior to an agency investigation or potential litigation.
"We commend Labor Ready and welcome their participation in this important program," said EEOC Chair Dominguez. "Mediation is the smart way to resolve employment disputes."
Under the terms of the NUAM, all eligible charges of discrimination filed with the Commission naming Labor Ready, Inc. as the employer/respondent will be referred to the EEOC's mediation unit as appropriate. The company has designated a corporate representative to handle all inquiries and other logistical matters related to potential charges in order to expedite a prompt scheduling of the matter for EEOC mediation.
Labor Ready (NYSE: LRW) puts nearly 600,000 people to work annually, and serves approximately 275,000 customers by providing a temporary workforce to such industries as freight handling, warehousing, landscaping, construction and light manufacturing. The company operates more than 825 locations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The NUAM agreement applies to all Labor Ready regular and temporary employees in the United States.
Labor Ready President and CEO Joe Sambataro said Labor Ready's participation in the NUAM is part of the Company's continuing commitment to its values of respect, diversity and open communication. "As one of the nation's largest employers, placing workers in almost every industry, we actively promote equal employment opportunity in our own business operations as well as throughout the business community," said Sambataro.
Expanding mediation is a key component of Chair Dominguez's Five-Point Plan to improve EEOC's overall operational efficiency and effectiveness. In addition to the NUAMs, EEOC district offices have entered into 534 mediation agreements with employers at the local and regional levels within their respective jurisdictions. The EEOC conducted 11,595 mediations in Fiscal Year 2003.
A comprehensive study conducted by an independent consortium of college and university professors with ADR experience found that over 91% of charging parties and 96% of employers that have participated in EEOC mediation would use the program again if they were a party to a future charge. Additional information about the EEOC's National Mediation Program is available online at http://www.eeoc.gov/mediate/index.html.
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 discrimination in the federal government. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.