The OSC ADR Unit screens most cases that are referred for full investigation to OSC’s Investigation and Prosecution Division or OSC’s USERRA Unit to determine if the case is appropriate for mediation. If the case is deemed appropriate, the OSC ADR specialist contacts the complainant and the employing agency to invite them to participate in the mediation program. If both parties agree, OSC schedules a mediation session.
Mediation sessions occur in person or by videoconference or telephone. During mediation, each party has the opportunity to explain its understanding of the events that transpired and its perspectives on how the matter can be resolved. The mediator assists the parties in this process, uncovering areas of agreement and exploring creative options to resolve the complaint. OSC’s process also includes information resources for the parties. The mediators can arrange for an OSC subject matter expert to help parties better understand their alternatives to settlement. This information is critical in giving the parties the tools they need to assess whether they want to settle the case in mediation or proceed to mediation. If both parties agree to settlement terms, the settlement is memorialized in writing.
For more information, please see OSC's fact sheet, "How OSC’s Mediation Program Works."