Exploring the Role of Representation in Employment Mediation at the USPS
Lisa Blomgren Bingham
Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)
Susan Summer Raines
Kennesaw State University
Indiana University Bloomington
June 16, 2009
This study uses participant exit surveys in a national mediation program for mediation of employment discrimination complaints at the United States Postal Service to compare the role that different categories of representatives (lawyers, union representatives, co-workers, other, or no representation) play in perceptions of procedural justice, settlement rates, and duration of mediation. We conclude that representation makes a valuable contribution to the mediation process, and that union representation specifically can play a constructive role in an employment mediation program outside the collective bargaining context. We also conclude that there is evidence that union representatives, lawyers, complainant representatives, and respondent representatives play different roles in the mediation process, and that these differences are consistent with what principal-agency theory would predict.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Keywords: conflict resolution, employment, mediation, unions, discrimination
JEL Classification: D74, J52working papers series
Date posted: September 29, 2011
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