The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE             CONTACT:      Claire Gonzales
Monday, July 17, 1995                           Reginald Welch
                                                (202) 663-4900
                                                TDD:  (202) 663-4494



WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued a policy statement affirming the agency's commitment to using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods throughout its operations.

"The adoption of this ADR policy reflects the Commission's determination to devise innovative ways to settle employment discrimination disputes in a cost-effective, fair, and timely manner," EEOC Chairman Gilbert F. Casellas said in announcing the new policy.

"ADR is a practical concept whose time has come," Casellas added. "I am proud the EEOC will be at the forefront of law enforcement agencies in implementing ADR programs to better meet the needs of those we serve."

The policy statement is consistent with the laws creating and enforced by the EEOC, as well as the Administrative Resolution Dispute Act of 1990, the National Performance Review, and Executive Orders 12778 and 12871. The new policy results from recommendations made by EEOC's Task Force on Alternative Dispute Resolution, which were unanimously approved by the full Commission in the form of motions on April 19, 1995. The ADR Task Force, one of three Commissioner-led task forces established by Chairman Casellas in November 1994 to reinvent and streamline EEOC's operating procedures, was co-chaired by Commissioners R. Gaull Silberman and Paul Steven Miller.

Following are the core principles set out in the ADR Policy Statement that will form the foundation of EEOC's ADR programs:

The Commission has also reaffirmed its long-held view that mandatory binding arbitration imposed as a condition of employment is contrary to civil rights laws and does not promote the principles of a sound ADR program. In accordance with the ADR Task Force recommendations adopted by the Commission, EEOC will issue a separate policy statement on this issue.

EEOC District Offices are in the process of formulating proposals for their own ADR programs. EEOC will begin to implement ADR programs in fiscal year 1996, although due to resource constraints initial implementation will be on a limited basis.

EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Equal Pay Act; sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; and prohibitions against discrimination affecting individuals with disabilities in the federal government.

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