WASHINGTON - Cari M. Dominguez, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), today announced the signing of the 28th National Universal Agreement to Mediate (NUAM) with Golden Corral Corporation to informally resolve workplace disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) prior to an agency investigation or potential litigation. Golden Corral Corporation, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a national chain of family-style restaurants operating in 38 states with more than $1 billion in annual sales.
"The Commission is pleased to enter this mediation partnership with Golden Corral Corporation, adding another to the long list of national agreements we have signed with Corporate America," said EEOC Chair Dominguez. "Employers are increasingly recognizing the many benefits of our voluntary mediation program to informally resolve employment conflicts in a fair, non-adversarial, expeditious, and cost effective manner."
Expanding mediation is a key component of Chair Dominguez's Five-Point Plan to improve the EEOC's overall operational efficiency and effectiveness. In addition to the 28 National Universal Agreements to Mediate, EEOC district offices have entered into nearly 500 local mediation agreements with employers at the state or regional levels within their respective jurisdictions.
"At the EEOC, we have great faith in our mediation program," said Commissioner Leslie E. Silverman, who has made the agency's mediation program one of her top priorities. "Each time a new employer signs an NUAM, they reinforce our program and demonstrate to their employees a strong commitment to resolving workplace disputes."
Under the terms of the NUAM, all eligible charges of discrimination filed with the Commission naming Golden Corral Corporation 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.
Golden Corral has 120 company-owned facilities and numerous franchise restaurants. The NUAM will cover only company-owned facilities. However, Golden Corral has notified its franchisees of the NUAM and encouraged them to consider entering into local mediation agreements with the EEOC.
Gloria Barker, Director of Corporate Relations at Golden Corral Corporation, said: "Golden Corral Corporation values its employees and it is our desire to be able to resolve any disputes that may arise in a fair and efficient manner. We look forward to working with the EEOC to that end."
Further information about the Commission, including the mediation program, is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov. Further information about Golden Corral Corporation can be found on its web site at www.goldencorralrest.com.
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.