The Council instituted mediation in February 1995 in an effort to expedite case processing. Mediation is offered as an alternative to the investigative process, which at this time takes at least 9-12 months.
Mediation sessions are conducted by the Compliance Officers and trained staff members. Mediation is an informal voluntary process, which provides a forum for a discussion of the complaint, and the opportunity to enter into an agreement that satisfies the interest of all parties.
Cases are forwarded for full investigation if (1) the Respondent elects not to participate in mediation; (2) the Respondent does not respond to the offer to mediate within the specified timeframe; (3) if an agreement is not reached during the mediation process. Note: the fact that a Complainant or a Respondent does not elect to participate in mediation or if a case is mediated, but not settled, will have no bearing on the investigation of the matter.
• Complainant and Respondent do not have to respond to Document and Information Requests
• Mediation is scheduled within 30 days from the date the complaint is accepted.
• “Fact-finding” is not the objective of mediation. Mediators do not weigh evidence, interview witnesses or determine if discrimination has occurred.
• The sole purpose of the mediation is to discuss the complaint and resolve it to the mutual satisfaction and in the best interest of all parties.
• Mediation is an informal process. No lengthy and time-consuming preparation is required.
• Mediation is not a legal process, thereby not requiring the presence of an attorney, although you may have an attorney present if you wish. Note: Attorneys may not “represent” their clients; all clients must speak on their own behalf. Attorneys may play only an advisory role in consulting their clients during the mediation.
• Mediation is a confidential process. The forum is non-evidentiary and is not tape-recorded. The same person who facilitated the mediation will not investigate the case.
Complaints of possible violations of the Act may be filed with:
Human Rights Council
Sandra D. Norman, Director
1220 Bank Street Jefferson Building, 3rd floor
Richmond, Virginia 23218
The HR Study and the Submit a Complaint form are in .pdf format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader.
To obtain a free copy of the Reader, visit the Adobe website.