In January, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (“SDNY”) began requiring early mediation in all employment discrimination cases other than cases brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) in which a lawyer, retired judge, or other trained mediator tries to help the parties settle their case.
Mediation offers the parties to a lawsuit a way to resolve their cases before they spend too much time, money, or mental energy trying to prove their cases. A study has shown that Settling Is Better Than Going to Trial for both employers and employees. As a result, it makes perfect sense that the SDNY would require early mediation in employment discrimination cases, which often can be very time consuming, costly, and emotional for everyone involved.
The SDNY is a federal court which is located in downtown Manhattan, White Plains and Middletown, New York. It covers the Bronx, New York, Westchester Rockland, Putnam, Orange, Dutchess, and Sullivan Counties. The SDNY’s mediation program is free, since the mediators donate their time.
Like the SDNY, New Jersey’s state courts require early mediation in most employment law cases. However, currently the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (“DNJ”) does not require mediation in every employment discrimination case, but instead leaves it up to individual judges to decide if and when to send the parties to mediation.
Our employment lawyers are experienced at representing employees through negotiations, mediation, and litigation. Contact us for more information if you have experienced discrimination or harassment at your job in New York or New Jersey.