Press Release 01-27-2021

EEOC Concludes Conciliation and Mediation Pilots

Agency Will Continue to Offer Virtual Mediations and Leverage Technology to Improve Access and Facilitate Feedback

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced the conclusion of two six-month pilot programs relating to the agency’s conciliation and mediation efforts.  The two pilots were announced in July 2020 and originally set to last six months.

“I strongly support the prompt and voluntary resolution of discrimination charges whenever doing so is consistent with our mission,” said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows.  “The Commission will continue to strengthen its conciliation and mediation programs in accordance with the overarching goal of preventing and remedying discrimination in the workplace.”

The EEOC’s popular mediation program has a proven record of success. Since the program was first implemented agency-wide in 1999, the agency has conducted more than 240,000 mediations, resolving over 170,000 charges and obtaining over $3 billion in benefits for aggrieved individuals.

The Commission will incorporate into the mediation program some of the practices the agency has found useful over the past several months, including the use of video technology to hold virtual mediations whenever possible.  Pilot participants generally, and employees in particular, expressed an overwhelming preference for video mediations over audio-only conferences. The EEOC will also continue to send electronic surveys to program participants who are able to respond electronically and will incorporate feedback from participants and agency mediators on how to improve virtual mediations. Finally, the parties may request mediation at any point during the administrative process.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.