The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

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WASHINGTON -- As part of the Clinton Administration's Civil Rights Initiative, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will announce the kick-off of its national mediation program on Thursday, February 11, at 11:00 a.m. at EEOC Headquarters, 1801 L Street, N.W. (First Floor Training Facility).

"What EEOC has learned is that matters resolved through voluntary mediation result in win-win outcomes for employers and employees alike," said EEOC Chairwoman Ida L. Castro. She continued: "Mediation is a fair and efficient voluntary mechanism to resolve employee/employer discrimination issues to the satisfaction of both parties, preventing undue delays and bringing matters to closure quickly and fairly. We want employees and employers to understand these benefits and avail themselves of a totally confidential and separate process."

Ms. Castro explained that EEOC''s kick-off program, "Mediation: A National Call To Action," stems from the call by the Administration and Congress for EEOC to implement a vigorous mediation program as a means to improve service to its customers, who include both employees and employers. In fact, videotaped remarks from Vice President Gore will be a prominent feature of the event this Thursday. Another highlight of the program will be an open roundtable discussion with agency stakeholders representing all sectors affected by EEOC charge processing and enforcement activities. The representatives will provide their perspectives on mediating discrimination charges brought to EEOC and what effect it has had or could have on their constituents. Representatives who will participate in the dialogue, presided over by Chairwoman Castro, include:

In addition, senior EEOC staff will discuss the details and implementation of the agency's mediation initiative, display new educational and outreach materials, and unveil a mediation section on EEOC''s Internet home page ( Invited guests include members of Congress and the Administration, as well as dozens of representatives from a variety of stakeholder organizations.

The Commission plans to establish a significant mediation program at every field office across the country in fiscal year 1999, utilizing up to $13 million in new budget funds requested by the President and authorized by Congress for that purpose. The amount is part of EEOC's overall FY 1999 budget of $279 million, a 15 percent or $37 million increase from the previous year. EEOC will use the new funds to hire mediation coordinators at every agency district office, hire a core of internal and external mediators, and increase education, training, and outreach on the mediation process.

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.

This page was last modified on February 9, 1999.

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