Instead of putting clients through the expense and delay of a trial to handle an employment dispute, many Washington attorneys are now using mediation to settle such cases. Mediation offers a wide array of benefits to both the clients and the attorneys.
Disputes with current and former employees are often good candidates for employment mediation, particularly since mediations are confidential and the disputes are usually emotionally charged. The clients will be relieved that their business may avoid negative press. Similarly, attorneys for employees will be able to offer their clients the same protection.
Attorneys whose clients have a relationship they need to maintain will also benefit from mediation. Since mediation encourages the parties to work together to resolve their dispute, the parties at mediation often transcend the animosity between each other, leading to a better working relationship in the future. In contrast, after a trial, professional and personal relationships are often destroyed.
When employers and employees become entangled in litigation due to a dispute, the value of the business is damaged since a significant amount of time must be dedicated to resolving the case. These cases can drag on for years, and may cause irreparable harm to a business. Attorneys should explain this risk to their clients. Similarly, since these cases are very expensive for plaintiffs to litigate and try.