Alternative Dispute Resolution Program

PSA’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program provides a non-adversarial approach to resolving workplace disputes. The ADR Program provides a quick, confidential method for resolving conflict at the lowest possible level, avoiding protracted legal processes, and allowing the agency and employees to identify and address the underlying causes of conflict. ADR interventions allow employees to retain greater control over the outcome of the dispute, preserve working relationships, lay a foundation for future problem solving and result in happier, more satisfied employees.

PSA makes skilled professionals available to employees to help them work through issues between individuals or within work units and makes extensive use of mediation as a conflict resolution tool.

Mediation is an informal process in which a neutral third party, the mediator, assists the opposing parties in reaching a voluntary, negotiated resolution of the complaint. Mediation is different from other forms of dispute resolution in that the parties participate voluntarily, and the mediator has no authority to make a decision. The decision-making power rests in the hands of the parties. Other ADR conflict resolution strategies include consultation, conflict management team building, and facilitation. The ADR Program can also customize interventions to address situations that cannot be resolved using the traditional tools.

Referrals for ADR come from various sources including employees, management officials, co-workers, the Equal Employment Opportunity Program Office, and the Employee and Labor Relations Office. Employees can contact the ADR Program Manager directly to request assistance with a workplace issue.

The federal EEO program began under the EEO ACT of 1972 (Public Law 92-261) and is designed to ensure fair treatment to all segments of society without regard to race, religion, color, national origin or sex. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act added nondiscriminatory employment coverage based on age and physical or mental disability, respectively. EEO programs include affirmative action for employment as well as discrimination complaint processes and remedies.