Latest EEOC-Employer Partnership Continues Trend with Corporate America
HOUSTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and CenterPoint Energy today announced the signing of a National Universal Agreement to Mediate (NUAM) to informally resolve workplace disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) before an EEOC investigation or potential litigation occurs.
The mediation partnership marks the 153rd such national or regional agreement between the EEOC and a large employer (mainly Fortune 500 companies) and bolsters a multi-year trend of Corporate America signing on to the EEOC’s widely acclaimed mediation program -- one of the largest employment-related ADR programs of its kind nationwide, with approximately 11,600 mediations conducted annually.
“We applaud CenterPoint Energy and welcome their participation in the EEOC’s mediation program,” said EEOC Houston District Director R.J. Ruff, Jr. “There are numerous benefits that flow from participating in the EEOC’s mediation program: it is fair, non-adversarial, expeditious and cost-effective. Additionally, mediation allows the parties to craft the resolution to the conflict that best meets their mutual needs -- which provides everyone the best opportunity to bring closure to the issues in a satisfactory manner.”
CenterPoint Energy Assistant General Counsel Stephen J. Calvert said: “CenterPoint Energy strives to maintain a respectful workplace free of discrimination and harassment. This agreement is consistent with that aim and will benefit employees and the company alike by fostering satisfactory and swift resolutions to workplace disputes.”
Under the terms of the NUAM, all eligible charges of discrimination filed with the Commission naming CenterPoint Energy 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.
Expanding mediation is a key component of the EEOC’s efforts to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness. In addition to the 153 national and regional UAMs, EEOC district offices have entered into more than 1,050 mediation agreements with employers at the local levels within their respective jurisdictions.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.
CenterPoint Energy is the third largest publicly traded (NYSE: CNP) natural gas delivery company in the United States, with three million natural gas customers in six states. CenterPoint Energy is also the nation’s third largest combined electricity and natural gas delivery company, with more than five million metered electric and natural gas customers, and the third largest employer in the energy industry in Houston. CenterPoint Energy is a company with proud traditions of quality and commitment — traditions developed during more than 130 years of delivering energy. To learn more about CenterPoint Energy and its commitment to establishing new traditions of service and operational excellence visit www.centerpointenergy.com.