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Frequently Asked Questions
The Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission's Voluntary Mediation Program helps resolve employment related conflicts and disputes. It is unnecessary for you to file a grievance or appeal to use the Voluntary Mediation Program.
Voluntary mediation offers you the chance to work with a trained mediator who can help you talk to the person with whom you have a conflict or dispute.
In voluntary mediation, you create your own agreement; the mediator simply assists the process.
Voluntary mediation gives you the opportunity to speak your mind; it also helps you understand the other person's point of view. You may be able to resolve the problem and reach agreement with the other person.
The Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission (Commission) can help you mediate any employment related dispute. Voluntary mediation can help you resolve a problem that developed last week, and it can help you work out employment differences built up over many years. Your differences can be with your supervisor, a co-worker, or a subordinate.
Participation in the Voluntary Mediation Program is just that - voluntary. When the Commission receives a request for mediation from you, a member of our staff contacts the other person. If that person is willing to participate, our staff arranges the voluntary mediation session.
A voluntary mediation session can last from one to four hours. Your session takes as long as you and the other participant need to resolve the conflict or dispute.
The mediator gives each of you a chance to speak, helps clarify the issues you want to address, and helps you identify possible solutions.
If you and the other participant reach an agreement, the mediator helps clarify it in writing. Even if you cannot come to an agreement, you should leave the session with a better understanding of the problem.
Yes. Using voluntary mediation does not automatically prevent you from using the agency grievance procedure or filing an appeal with the Commission. You may request mediation even if you have already started the grievance or appeal process. Grievance and appeal time limits are suspended during the voluntary mediation process.
Yes. You speak for yourself at the voluntary mediation session, but you may have your representative accompany you to act in an advisory role.
Everything that takes place during voluntary mediation session is confidential. Before the session begins, the mediator, participants, and any representatives must agree they will respect that confidentiality.
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