The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



Commission Chair Naomi Earp and Gov. Ruth Ann Minner Sign Universal Mediation Agreement

DOVER, Del. – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the State of Delaware today announced the signing of a Universal Agreement to Mediate (UAM) to informally resolve workplace disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The new partnership marks the second time the EEOC has entered into a universal mediation agreement with a state government.

“We congratulate the State of Delaware for being one of the first states in the nation to enter a mediation partnership with the EEOC,” said Commission Chair Naomi C. Earp, who signed the agreement today at the Delaware State Capitol. “The EEOC’s National Mediation Program is the largest employment ADR program of its kind, and we encourage other states to follow Delaware’s lead. Mediation is a non-adversarial process which saves time, money, and often results in mutually beneficial outcomes.”

Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner said, “We are very pleased to join with the EEOC to incorporate its mediation program into our dispute resolution process. A fundamental goal of my Administration has been protecting the legal rights of women and minorities in the workplace, and removing any artificial barriers to their selection, promotion and advancement. Reaching this goal requires us to work together to resolve any disputes that arise over these issues in a cooperative and constructive manner. The EEOC’s Mediation Program has proven to be an excellent tool for achieving these results.”

Under the terms of the UAM, all eligible charges of discrimination filed with the EEOC naming any department of the State of Delaware as the employer/respondent will be referred to the EEOC’s mediation unit, as appropriate. The state will designate a representative to handle all inquiries and other logistical matters in order to facilitate a prompt scheduling of the matter for EEOC mediation.

EEOC Philadelphia District Director Marie M. Tomasso, whose office oversees Delaware, said, “Everyone wins by participating in the EEOC’s free and confidential ADR program since a neutral mediator assists the parties in reaching a voluntary and mutually beneficial agreement.”

Gov. Minner added, “Mediation has enabled the state to preserve resources through saving time and money on litigation. Equally important, it has promoted positive working relationships, which enhance productivity in the workplace.”

The EEOC has entered into 178 national and regional UAMs with private sector employers, including several Fortune 500 companies. Additionally, agency district offices have entered into approximately 1,275 mediation agreements with private sector employers at the local levels within their respective jurisdictions.

Expanding mediation is a key component of the EEOC’s efforts to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness. Under the EEOC’s National Mediation Program, more than 110,000 charges of employment discrimination have been mediated with about 70% being successfully resolved in an average time of 97 days – less than half the time it takes to resolve a charge through an administrative investigation. Information about the EEOC’s mediation program can be found at on the agency’s web site at

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at

This page was last modified on November 19, 2008.

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