Workplace

& Employment

     
 

ACCORD Mediation Services

 
 
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schedule a confidential, no cost consultation

585-461-2654 Rochester | Western NY Region
585-394-4950 Canandaigua | Finger Lakes Region

518-891-1681 Adirondacks | North Country Region

 
     
 

EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS

Generally, employment contracts are created to protect the interests of the employer. The employee agrees to the terms and then signs the contract. In many instances, employees do not have lawyers review the contract on their behalf. Later, when performance issues arise, or when there are allegations of a breach and employment termination is apparent, disputes about interpretation of the contract terms are quite common. Disputes about intellectual property, sales territories, ownership of client database are typical.

Mediation affords parties an opportunity to reach a settlement, without the cost of litigation. If an agreement cannot be reached, a second alternative is arbitration, whereby an arbitrator would conduct a hearing and render a decision as to the outcome.

GRIEVANCES, AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES (ADA) and DISCRIMINATION

Workplace conflicts occur every day. Complaints among employees, performance evaluations, personality conflicts between an employee and a supervisor are examples of common issues. Interpretations by an employee of being mistreated often lead to allegations of discrimination. When ignored, conflicts and miscommunication spiral, thus leading to lost productivity, loss of personnel, and potential lawsuits. This is costly to businesses since recruiting, training and development, and payment of unemployment insurance is one of the highest operational expenses to employers. Lost revenues relating to low morale among employees is yet another cost to businesses.

Employees are a business’ greatest asset; employees can also be a business’ greatest expense. That is why every employer should have a grievance policy and procedures manual. ACCORD provides conflict resolution consulting, mediation, and human resource support in order that employers can focus more on their business. Developing a process that allows employees to feel valued, and that their basic needs are heard and addressed will result in higher retention, greater satisfaction, higher morale and higher productivity.

SEVERANCE NEGOTIATIONS

When an employer is downsizing and having to make difficult decisions about who to let go, the transition is a highly emotional time for both the employer and the individual who is being asked to leave. Fear and concern about accusations and potential lawsuits begin to emerge. Mediation can be useful when parties are negotiating a severance package that is reasonable to both sides.

PERFORMANCE REVIEWS

When an employer has lax or inconsistent company policies and procedures, misunderstandings about expectations between the employer and the employee are very common.  If these understandings are not addressed when they occur, or when concerns are finally communicated to the employee by means of their performance review months after the fact, angry emotions and counterproductive comments are inevitable.

Mediation is an appropriate venue to discuss sensitive issues and find mutually acceptable solutions.

Mediation is also a way to avoid problems with the Labor Board and potential lawsuits. ACCORD highly recommends that all employers have a company policy and procedures manual. 

Our sister company, ADDENDA Solutions and Business Services  prepares these manuals, trainings, professional development seminars and executive coaching to managers.

PERSONALITY CONFLICTS

It is a shame to lose a good employee due to something that can be prevented or worked out.  However, when personality dynamcis interferes with productivity, customer service and quality of work, it is an issue that needs to be nipped in the bud immediately.  The longer the issue festers, the greater the probability of a good employee leaving.  It is expensive to advertise, recruit, interview, arrange for benefits and payroll and train a new employee.  Mediation could be the answer.  The process is quick and affordable.

SAMPLE ADR CLAUSES

Mediation

If a dispute, controversy or claim arises out of or relates to this contract, or the breach, termination or validity thereof, and if either party decides that the dispute cannot be settled through direct discussions, the parties agree to endeavor to settle the dispute in an amicable manner by mediation pursuant to NYS CPLR Article 78 – Rules and practices governing mediation and arbitration processes by community dispute resolution centers, through ACCORD Mediation Services of Rochester, New York, with offices in Rochester, Canandaigua and Saranac Lake, NY.  Costs for mediation shall be equally divided, unless the parties otherwise agree to an alternative payment arrangement. If this mediation does not result in a settlement, then the dispute shall be resolved by binding arbitration pursuant to [clause (b) below]. [Alternatively, the parties may provide for litigation in a court specified by the parties.

 

Arbitration

Any dispute, controversy or claim arising out of, relating to, or in connection with, this contract, or the breach, termination or validity thereof, shall be finally settled by arbitration. The arbitration shall be conducted in accordance with [NYS CPLR Article 78 – Rules and practices governing mediation and arbitration processes] in effect at the time of the arbitration, except as they may be modified herein or by mutual agreement of the parties. The seat of the arbitration shall be [select city / county and State], and it shall be conducted in the English language. The arbitration shall be conducted by [select one or three] arbitrators, as agreed by the disputing parties, who shall be selected in accordance with the rules set forth by the American Arbitration Association.  

The arbitral award shall be in writing and shall be final and binding on the parties. The award may include an award of costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees and disbursements. Judgment upon the award may be entered by any court having jurisdiction thereof or having jurisdiction over the parties or their assets.

 
     
 
EMAIL US: Help@ACCORDMediates.com
 
     
 
Flexible Evening Appointments Available     
 
 

    

 
     
 

        

 

CANANDAIGUA | FINGER LAKES

5297 Parkside Drive (Off Rte. 332)
Suite 412
Canandaigua, NY 14424


585-394-4950

Map & Directions

 

ROCHESTER | WESTERN NY

1100 University Avenue
Suite 108

Rochester, NY 14607

585-461-2654                      

SARANAC LAKE | NORTH COUNTRY

P.O. Box 367

126 Kiwassa Road

Saranac Lake, NY  12983

518-891-5321

 
 
 

Our offices in Canandaigua ( Ontario County ), Rochester ( Monroe County ) Saranac Lake (Franklin and Essex Counties), New York provide mediation services for divorce, marital separation, child custody and visitation, elder care, military divorce, workplace mediation, insurance claims, victim-offender, business contract breach and home construction disputes throughout New York State, including Rochester, Canandaigua, Geneva, Auburn, Syracuse, Watertown, Albany, Plattsburth, Malone NY.

 
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