Employment Dispute Mediation
There are very few mediators in Indiana who have a strong background in employment law. Because of this, Amy Ficklin DeBrota decided to complete forty hours of Indiana Supreme Court approved civil mediation training in 2006 to become a registered mediator in the state of Indiana. Ms. DeBrota offers mediation services for employment, general litigation and personal injury cases which are already in litigation. After experiencing 16 years of participating in settlement conferences and mediations late in the litigation process, after the court and the parties have invested significant time and expense in the process, Ms. DeBrota also decided to offer pre-litigation mediation services as a way for the parties to quickly resolve their differences and "move on" with life or business.
Years of practice as a plaintiff’s lawyer has made Ms. DeBrota adept at explaining legal and procedural issues to clients who are unfamiliar with the legal system. Her depth of experience also allows her to speak authoritatively to individuals who do have experience with litigation about her trial experiences and the legal, economic and practical realities of employment cases and other types of litigation. Despite her depth of knowledge, Ms. DeBrota’s has kept her hourly mediation rate at only $150 per hour, in order to encourage parties to mediate. The DeBrota Law Firm LLC hosts mediations in our office but Ms. DeBrota is also willing to travel throughout Indiana for mediation, if desired. Contact Ms. DeBrota today to determine her availability.
The DeBrota Law Firm LLC is able to host mediations in our office but Ms. DeBrota is also willing to travel throughout Indiana for mediation, if desired.
"Amy has always been able to provide a prompt mediation date. She has also been able to either (1) resolve the matter, or (2) define the pertinent fact/law issues that precluded the parties from settling. Amy represents excellent value for mediation; compare her rates. She is always my first choice to mediate. It is my pleasure to recommend her." Christopher Starkey, Attorney at Law, Indianapolis
The Benefits of Mediation
Few controversies can cost a business more in time, money and lost opportunity than a dispute with an employee. A single employment dispute can result in the erosion of substantial intangible assets, such as employee morale, good will from customers and colleagues, as well as the monetary costs of legal fees and costs (no matter what the outcome) and a potential jury award. A conflict with a key executive can devastate a well-established company, both organizationally and financially. The task of handling a dispute can distract and disorient an otherwise strong and efficient management team.
From the employee’s perspective, engaging in litigation against a current or former employer can limit the future employment opportunities available. Employees often find litigating employment disputes both emotionally and financially draining. The litigation process can be unsatisfying for many employees, regardless of the outcome of the case because it fails to address many goals employees have, such as obtaining a positive or neutral reference for prospective employers, avoiding the stress of confrontation, avoiding disclosure of embarrassing information and obtaining closure regarding an unpleasant situation so the employee can move on to “bigger and better” things. For both sides of the litigation, allowing judge or jury to decide the issues involved in an employment related dispute is a gamble. Employment dispute mediation eliminates or minimizes the disruptions and distractions, and the financial and emotional cost to both businesses and employees.
Companies often refuse employee overtures to informally resolve a dispute, instead opting for litigation to resolve employment disputes, because management does not fully understand the consequences of such litigation on the business at hand. Once begun, parties often become entrenched in their positions and it is difficult, if not impossible to stop the litigation. Each step of the litigation process leads to the next. Some unscrupulous defense counsel discourage a resolution and instead urge a company to keep litigating a case, due to the continued hourly billing opportunity it affords defense counsel. Plaintiff's lawyers sometimes encourage their clients to continue litigation, in the hope that the employer will offer a bigger settlement later in the process. As a result, the parties often find themselves resolving cases at the courthouse door after economic, political and emotional costs have all been spent.
When a terminated or current employee makes a claim against an employer, it is generally in the interest of both parties to attempt to resolve the matter early, before litigation begins, through a procedure called mediation. In mediation, an attorney trained as a mediator, acting in a neutral role, meets with the parties to help them find a resolution to their dispute. The involvement of a mediator greatly increases the chance the dispute will be resolved by helping the parties open communications to focus on their real interests in order to find a resolution that meets the needs of both sides. Mediation is a non-binding process. Neither party is required to accept any recommendation that the mediator might make for settlement. Any settlement and its terms are entirely subject to whatever terms the parties' can agree to include in the agreement. As a rule, the entire process is generally confidential, and often the parties agree that the resolution of the dispute should also be confidential.
Employment law is one of the fastest developing areas of conflict and increasing litigation in the United States. Disputes between a company and its employees can arise in several different contexts. An existing employee may contend that a supervisor harassed them. An employee who was terminated or denied promotion may contend that such decision was motivated by discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability. Lastly, a terminated employee may allege that he or she has been wrongfully terminated and that the termination was unfair or without good cause. Federal and state laws regarding workplace conduct, and court decisions interpreting those laws, are constantly redefining the manner in which a company must relate to its employees and vice versa. Pre-litigation employment dispute mediation provides a cost effective and satisfying way to deal with the evolving law and employer-employee conflicts. Contact Ms. DeBrota if you would like more information about using mediation to resolve an employment dispute.
These articles might help you determine if pre-litigation employment dispute mediation would be a good solution for you:
"Get the Other Side to the Mediation Table"
Our Useful Links page has additional information about mediation.
If you are interested in mediating an employment dispute, please
complete and submit an employment
dispute mediation request form.
"Problems are only opportunities with thorns
Hugh Miller, "Snow on the Wind"
The DeBrota Law Firm LLC, an Indianapolis based employment law firm, provides mediation services, consultations and employee or employer litigation representation in central Indiana and throughout the state. Amy Ficklin DeBrota represents employees with claims for unpaid wages or overtime, unpaid commissions, breach of employment contract, discrimination, equal pay, retaliation, whistleblower actions, as well as other types of employment related legal claims under federal and Indiana state law. She has special interest and experience in representing nurses, doctors, veterinarians and other health care professionals with their employment issues. Further, she provides consultations with small and medium sized employers who are interested in avoiding employment based lawsuits. Ms. DeBrota is not only a lawyer. She is also a registered Indiana mediator who is available to travel to or host mediations regarding employment disputes, personal injury claims, and general civil litigation. She has the legal knowledge and years of experience to allow her to effectively communicate with individuals who are experienced with the law, and with those for whom the legal system is unfamiliar, in order to help everyone concerned realize the benefits of an agreed settlement. Ms. DeBrota is a dedicated, effective Indiana employment law attorney and mediator based in Indianapolis, Indiana.