Becoming a Qualified EEO Neutral -Mediator: EEOC Requirements
To become a qualified mediator for Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) disputes, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sets specific requirements. These requirements are designed to ensure that mediators have the necessary knowledge, skills, and ethical grounding to effectively mediate EEO disputes, which often involve sensitive and complex issues.

$650.00 per 90 days
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90 Days

Last Updated

April 4, 2024





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Becoming a Qualified EEO Neutral Mediator

To become a qualified mediator for Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) disputes, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sets specific requirements. These requirements are designed to ensure that mediators have the necessary knowledge, skills, and ethical grounding to effectively mediate EEO disputes, which often involve sensitive and complex issues.

Date: May 6-8 | Start 8am, Est.  Aug 9-13 | Start 8am, Est

Duration: 20 clock Hours (2CEUs IACET)

Delivery: Mixed (Online, In-person, Instrucor Led)

Key Requirements:

The training should include the following information:

  • The ADR Act and its amendments, with emphasis on the federal government's interest in encouraging mutual resolution of disputes and the benefits associated with utilizing ADR;
  • The EEOC's regulations and policy guidance with respect to ADR, 29 C.F.R. §§ 1614.102(b)(2); 105(f); 1614.108(b), and 1614.603;
  • The operation of the ADR method or methods that the agency employs;
  • Exposure to other ADR methods, including interest-based mediation, and
  • Drafting the settlement agreement, including the notice provision pursuant to 29 C.F.R. § 1614.504 where the aggrieved party believes that agency failed to comply with the terms of the settlement agreement.

Traininig Outline:

Module 1: Introduction to ADR and EEOC Regulations

  • Overview of the Administrative Dispue Resolution Act (ADRA) and its amendments.
  • Emphasis on the federal government's interest in encouraging the mutual resolution of disputes.
  • Understanding the benefits associated with utilizing ADR in the federal context.
  • Detailed review of EEOC’s regulations and policy guidance concerning ADR (29 C.F.R. §§ 1614.102(b)(2); 105(f); 1614.108(b), and 1614.603)

Module 2: The EEO Complaint Process

  • Initial Step: Must contact EEO counselor within 45 days of the alleged discriminatory event.
  • Beginning the Process: Process starts by contacting an EEO counselor.
  • Options for Resolution:Agency may offer Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Individual can choose between ADR (if available) or traditional counseling.
  • Counseling Details:Should be completed within 30 days. EEO counselor explains rights, responsibilities, and procedures. Goals: Identify legal claims, seek resolution, document the process, and prepare a summary report.
  • Conclusion of Counseling:Issuance of notice of final interview. Notice details the 15-day deadline to file a formal complaint and where to file it.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR):Offered during counseling; choosing ADR foregoes traditional counseling attempts.

Module 3: Qualified EEO Neutral Laws, Analysis and Remedies

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and retaliation. It ensures fairness in employment practices.

Key Points:

  • Race Discrimination: Encompasses all races and may also include characteristics linked to race like skin color or hair texture.
  • Color Discrimination: Refers to differential treatment due to skin color, even within the same race.
  • Religious Discrimination: Covers all religious beliefs and practices, whether they’re traditional, new, or uncommon. This also includes atheists and agnostics. A key aspect is the provision for reasonable accommodations for religious practices.
  • Sex Discrimination: Encompasses biological differences, pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Further details on LGBT discrimination will be addressed in subsequent modules.
  • Harassment: Beyond just sexual harassment, Title VII prohibits harassment based on race, color, religion, and national origin, ensuring a workplace free from such prejudices.

Module 4: Dispute Resolution in EEO / Mediation

  • Pre-Complaint Counseling: Initial step involving discussion of the grievance with an EEO counselor.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): Optional mediation offered for a potentially faster, mutually agreeable resolution.
  • Formal Complaint Filing: If issues are unresolved, a formal complaint is filed detailing the discrimination claims.
  • Investigation: The agency conducts a thorough investigation into the allegations post-complaint.
  • Final Agency Decision (FAD) or Hearing: Agency issues a decision or a hearing is held by an EEOC Administrative Judge.
  • Appeal: Dissatisfied parties can appeal to the EEOC or pursue federal court litigation.
  • Settlement: Available at any stage, allowing for negotiated resolutions without formal findings.
  • Principles: Fairness, impartiality, confidentiality, and accessibility guide the process.
  • Introduction to Mediation: Overview of mediation as a voluntary, confidential process to resolve disputes.
  • Benefits of Mediation:Confidentiality: Details of the mediation are not disclosed. Control: Parties have more control over the outcome. Speed: Typically faster than formal litigation or arbitration. Cost-Effective: Generally less expensive than traditional legal routes. Preservation of Relationships: Encourages cooperative problem-solving.

Module 5: Principles of Mediation

  • Voluntary Participation: Participation in mediation is always a voluntary act by all parties involved, emphasizing autonomy in the decision to seek resolution.
  • Neutrality of the Mediator: Mediators must remain neutral and unbiased, facilitating discussions without favoring any party or influencing the outcome.
  • Confidentiality: All information shared during mediation is confidential, promoting open dialogue and trust among participants.
  • Self-Determination: Parties retain control over the outcome of mediation, making decisions themselves rather than having a solution imposed upon them.
  • Informed Decision-Making: Ensuring that all parties have a clear understanding of their rights, options, and the potential consequences of their decisions.
  • Fairness and Equity: Mediation seeks to achieve outcomes that are fair and equitable, taking into account the needs and interests of all parties.
  • Legal Framework Awareness: While mediation is a non-legal process, awareness of the relevant legal context is important for informed decision-making.
  • Empowerment: Mediation empowers individuals by giving them a voice in the resolution process and the tools to address conflict constructively.
  • Recognition: Acknowledging each party’s perspective, feelings, and needs as valid, fostering mutual respect and understanding.
  • Future-Focused Solutions: Encouraging solutions that address the needs of all parties and are sustainable over time, rather than dwelling on past grievances.
  • Quality of the Agreement: Ensuring that any agreement is practical, specific, and implementable, reflecting a genuine consensus among the parties.
  • Respect: All participants and the mediator must show respect for one another throughout the process, creating a positive environment conducive to resolution.

Module 6: Mediation Process and Stages

  • Stages of Mediation: Stage to mediation include -Preconferening, Opening, Joint Session, Private sessiosn, Agreement, Closing
  • Role of the Mediator: Neutral party facilitates dialogue, aids in understanding positions, and assists in identifying mutually acceptable solutions.
  • Mediation Process:Preparation: Parties prepare by outlining their positions and interests.
  • Opening Session: Mediator explains rules, process, and goals. Exploration: Each party presents their viewpoint without interruption. Negotiation: Parties engage in discussion to explore solutions. Agreement: If a resolution is found, the agreement is documented.
  • Preparing for Mediation: Strategies include clarifying goals, understanding the other party’s perspective, and considering alternative solutions.

Module 7: Mock Mediations and Feedback

"Mock Mediations and Feedback," offers participants hands-on practice in mediation through simulated scenarios that mirror real-life disputes. This interactive module allows learners to apply mediation principles and techniques in a controlled environment, enhancing their understanding of the mediation process. Participants take turns acting as mediators and parties to the dispute, providing a comprehensive perspective on the dynamics and challenges of mediation. Following each mock mediation, constructive feedback is given, focusing on areas of strength and improvement. This feedback mechanism is crucial for developing effective mediation skills, enabling participants to refine their approach and techniques based on practical experience. The module is designed to build confidence and competence in future mediators, preparing them for real-world conflict resolution

Course Curriculum

  • EEO Neutral Aug 9-11

  • EEO Neutral May 6- 8


Guno Ritfeld is a retired Department of Defense Commissioned Officer. He has earned a B.A. in Psychology/Education, a Juris Doctorate (J.D.), and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree.

He is certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Circuit Civil, Family, and County mediator and has served as a County mediator at the Orange County courthouse. He served as a member of the City of Orlando Certification Appeals Board and Chapter 57 Discrimination Board, and as a contract Human Rights Mediator and Administrative Investigator for various state and federal agencies. He is an experienced commercial, workplace, and family dispute mediator and arbitrator.

Office Florida

121 South Orange Avenue, Suite 1500, Orlando, Florida 32801

Office Virginia

1101 Wilson Blvd 6th Floor, Arlington, Virginia 22209

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