Mediation is an informal proceeding wherein the parties in the claim meet with a Mediator, in the appropriate Regional Office, in an attempt to reach a voluntary resolution of the pending issue(s). All representatives must have knowledge of the claim and authority to make decisions on the pending issues.
The Mediator will give each party an opportunity to explain its claims or defenses and share any documents that may support its claims or defenses. Thereafter, the Mediator will further communicate with the parties to try and find common ground. Communication may be done through caucusing, which allows the Mediator to meet separately with the parties. Mediators shall not disclose any information provided to them in private by one party to any other party without authorization from the disclosing party, except to the extent that such disclosure is required by law.
Mediation is most successful when the parties are free to speak candidly and openly about their interests, needs and desires. All statements made during the course of Mediation are made without prejudice to any party’s legal position in dispute being mediated. No aspect of Mediation, other than the Record of Mediation, shall be discoverable or admissible in any proceeding, other than a Penalty referral covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act. Mediation shall not be recorded or transcribed.
If an agreement is reached, the Mediator completes a Record of Mediation noting the terms of the agreement. The Record is signed by the parties and/or their representatives and the Mediator. The documented agreement is binding upon the parties.
If no agreement is reached, the Mediator completes a Record of Mediation, documenting the issues in dispute, that the parties are unable to agree and that, upon the filing of petitions, the claim may proceed to formal hearing.