The Federal Executive Board of Minnesota’s Mediation Program is a free service available to Federal Agencies. Our mediation services are provided by trained mediators from various federal agencies within Minnesota.
Mediation is a process in which an impartial third party that has no authority to decide the issue or impose a resolution assists the parties in exploring a mutually-satisfactory resolution of the issues in dispute. At all times the decision to settle or impasse the dispute is solely within the hands of the parties. The mediator does not decide the dispute and has no authority to force either party to resolve the dispute. The role of the mediator is to help the parties understand each other’s positions, interests and perspectives and assist the parties in deciding whether the dispute can be resolved. The mediator also encourages mutual respect between the parties and takes the steps necessary to prevent any abuse of the mediation process. The impartial mediators for this program are trained and experienced in alternative dispute resolution. Under the program, the parties pay no fees to participate in the mediation conference.
From the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service: The Shared Neutrals program (SN) allows agencies to receive mediation at no charge for disputes occurring in their agencies. SN uses a pool of trained collateral duty federal employees who provide mediation services to agencies other than their own in exchange for the same services to their agency. Providing mediators across agency lines supports fundamental mediation principles such as neutrality and confidentiality because the mediators are outsiders to the agencies where they are mediating.
All Federal Agencies in Minnesota are able to use the Federal Executive Board’s free mediation services. While it is not required, we encourage agencies using our services to provide trained mediators who can facilitate for other participating agencies.
Prior to requesting a mediator, agencies must complete and submit the Agency Agreement to Participate and submit it to [email protected]. This form is typically signed by an EEO official. An agency only needs to submit this form once.
Requests for mediation services are submitted to [email protected] using the linked form, and must include the following information:
- Name of the agency coordinator;
- Location of the mediation;
- Preferred date(s) of mediation: (provide at least 3 dates or date ranges)
- Brief description of the type of case/dispute (please specify formal EEO complaint; informal EEO complaint; other workplace dispute; or other matter in dispute);
- Number of participants and whether legal representatives will be present;
- Any specific needs or requests that might affect the selection of referrals (e.g., language skills or special needs).
Requesting Agencies are responsible for coordinating logistics, such as:
- Locating an appropriate room for the mediation OR providing an online platform for a virtual mediation;
- Communicating mediation time and location to parties and representatives;
- Providing supplies, such as flip charts and markers;
- Providing rooms for private caucuses;
- Reimbursing travel expenses, if any, incurred by the mediators; and
- Providing additional contact information of the agency coordinator to the parties and mediators in the event of logistical problems.
Mediators should be assigned within 10 business days of receipt at the FEB. If you do not receive notification of your mediator within 10 days, please email [email protected].
We welcome new mediators to our program throughout the year. Please reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions.
Becoming a Mediator
- Fill out the mediator application and obtain your supervisor’s signature.
- Provide documentation of at least 40 hours training in basic mediation skills.
- Submit the documents to [email protected] with the subject line “Mediator Application”.
Those accepted to the program start out as a “co-mediator” unless they have substantial and relevant mediation experience already. To become a lead mediator, a trained co-mediator must additionally have completed at least two co-mediations with a qualified mediator. Feedback on the co-mediator’s performance is used to determine when the transition to lead happens.
How are Mediators Assessed?
Following mediation, the parties provide feedback on the shared neutrals’ performance and the mediation process by completing a user survey. The lead mediator completes the mediation report stating the outcome of the case and also commenting on the performance of the co-mediator.
All mediators are required to continue their education in mediation and related topics. FEB Mediators must have 6 hours of continuing education each year. Mediators should submit their documentation each year by December 31.