Whether and when to mediate employment disputes -- Effective mediation can keep companies focused on the marketplace, not the courtroom

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Too often the work of in-house counsel resembles the triage department of a hospital emergency room: Attend to the most immediate crisis and hope the routine complaints quiet themselves with the passage of time. Whether and when to mediate an employment dispute depends on similar prioritizing. What complaint(s) warrant escalation and which will resolve on their own?

The following questions help prioritize complaints: Does the complaint implicate a policy applicable to others, or is it individual to the complainant? Will the complaint remain inside the company, or is an administrative complaint or lawsuit likely? Does the subject matter concern a priority for the company, or is it a peripheral matter? What risks does the company face by not resolving the dispute?

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