REDRESS® mediation helps employees in conflict. The transformative mediation model encourages employees to openly discuss their issues in a way that can "transform" their working relationship. This open dialogue often helps employees recognize each other's viewpoint to determine how their dispute can be resolved. In transformative mediation, it is the disputing parties, rather than the mediators, who have the decision making power to decide if the issues can be resolved. The mediator facilitates the discussion between the disputing parties, but does not determine who is right or wrong. The Postal Service™ is convinced that when employees are given the opportunity to participate in transformative mediation, they gain a better understanding of the conflict, and improve their ability to communicate with each other. Ultimately, conflicts in the workplace are reduced and communication is improved, leading to a better workplace environment.
Any postal employee who believes that he or she has been the subject of illegal discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender stereotypes, and transgender status), national origin, religion, age (40 or over), genetic information, disability, or retaliation for engaging in an EEO-protected activity may request EEO counseling by using the online Postal Service EEO efile application at: https://efile.usps.com. Alternatively, you may request EEO counseling by mail by providing your name, Social Security or employee identification number, address and telephone number to:
NEEOISO — EEO Contact Center
PO Box 21979
Tampa FL 33622-1979
- When an employee is contacted by an EEO Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Specialist, the employee is offered two options: REDRESS mediation or traditional EEO counseling. (A small percentage of cases are not appropriate for mediation and are not offered REDRESS. For example, disputes pertaining to violence, theft, or destruction of property may not be appropriate for mediation.)
- When REDRESS is elected, a mediation session is generally scheduled within two to three weeks of the request. There is no cost to the employee to attend mediation. Mediations are scheduled on the clock at the employee's work site or at a nearby facility.
The employee who believes that he or she has been the subject of illegal discrimination has the option to bring a personal representative to mediation. No special qualifications or degrees are required of the representative, however, a representative may be disqualified if a conflict of interest exists. The mediation process begins in a joint session with the mediator, alleged responsible management official, employee, and employee's personal representative (if chosen). Normally, alleged responsible management officials attend REDRESS alone; however, in some cases, the Postal Service's Law Department may represent alleged responsible management officials during REDRESS.
In mediation, the parties have an opportunity to be creative and arrive at an agreement reflecting their decisions on how the dispute will be resolved. The settlement agreement is binding on both parties. Once signed, the settlement agreement concludes the EEO complaint process. If no settlement is reached during mediation, the complaining party has lost nothing and may pursue the claim by filing a formal complaint.
- REDRESS mediation is voluntary.
- There is no cost to the employee.
- The mediation is conducted on the clock.
- External mediators facilitate the mediation session using the transformative model.
- The employee who believes that he or she has been the subject of illegal discrimination has the right to bring a representative of their choosing to offer advice during the mediation session.
- Normally, alleged responsible management officials attend REDRESS alone; however, in some cases, the Postal Service's Law Department may represent alleged responsible management officials during REDRESS.
- If a settlement agreement is reached, it reflects the parties' own decisions.
- The settlement agreement is binding on both parties when signed and this concludes the EEO complaint process.
- If the dispute is not resolved during the mediation session, the employee has the right to pursue the issues through the formal complaint process. This may lead to costly litigation and possible hearing expenses.