Mediation is fair, efficient and can help the parties avoid a lengthy investigation and/or litigation since it allows for the discrimination complaint to be resolved at an early stage and it is an alternative to a full investigation and/or litigation.
Once a case has been filed, mediation is offered to both, the Complainant and the Respondent, as a voluntary, informal and confidential way for all involved to reach a resolution of the case. Both parties must agree to participate in the mediation conference which takes place with the help of a neutral mediator who is trained to help people discuss their differences. The mediator does not decide who is right or wrong, or issues a decision. Instead, the mediator helps the parties work out their own solutions to the issues.
A great benefit of mediation is that it allows people to resolve the charge in a friendly way and in ways that meet their own unique needs. A written signed Negotiated Settlement Agreement reached during mediation is enforceable in court just like any other written contract,
There is no charge to either party to attend the mediation conference which is usually held at the City of Tampa's Office of Human Rights.
If parties do not reach an agreement through mediation, the charge will be submitted for a full investigation.