Toronto Employment & Labour Lawyers Representing Employers at Mediation
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that can be used to address issues that arise between employers and employees instead of resorting to litigation or arbitration. Going to court, appearing at a tribunal, or appearing before an arbitrator can be costly, lengthy, and very adversarial, making the resolution of disputes very stressful. More and more employers and employees are looking to resolve disputes outside of a courtroom, an OLRB hearing room, an HRTO hearing room, arbitration, or other more formal settings and are turning to mediation.
At Mallins Law, we understand the desire to find an alternative method to resolving something that has the potential to get very expensive and consume many months or years. We also know that mediation can be a very effective method of addressing legal issues that arise in an employment context.
Our highly experienced team of employment & labour lawyers have been representing employers and employees at mediations for many years. We apply our significant advocacy and litigation experience to the resolution of disputes away from the traditional forums in which they are typically resolved.
What Is Mediation?
During a mediation, a neutral third party (the mediator) works to help the parties come to a mutually satisfactory solution to their legal dispute.
Unlike a judge, a mediator cannot impose a settlement or make a final binding decision. Rather, their function is a collaborative one intended to assist the parties involved in a dispute to communicate and negotiate with one another, to understand one another’s positions, and to resolve the matter in a way that is beneficial to both sides.
Mediations are the only opportunity for both parties to participate in creating the resolution of a workplace dispute.
The Benefits of Mediation
Traditional litigation can be lengthy and very expensive. There are several reasons to participate in mediation. These include:
- More expedient resolution of disputes than through litigation;
- A shortened resolution process = fewer legal costs;
- Less adversarial proceedings = reduced stress on the parties involved;
- No public record = proceedings are not open to the public, and there is no publicly available court or tribunal decision;
- Opportunity to be a part of the resolution.
In addition, in situations like employment & labour disputes, where parties may have an ongoing relationship that will continue once the dispute is resolved (depending on the nature of the dispute), mediation is an excellent way to maintain that relationship while solving the problem at hand.
Mediation Before Litigation or Arbitration
Mediation is often something parties can attempt even if they are on the path to traditional litigation or arbitration of a dispute. Many parties negotiate during the course of litigation: more than 80% of all lawsuits settle before they even get to trial or hearing.
In Ontario, some lawsuits are subject to mandatory mediation which parties must participate in. Mediation can also occur before a human rights complaint gets to a hearing at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, or before an employment standards claim or other complaint gets to a hearing at the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
Contact Mallins Law in Toronto for Guidance and Representation Throughout the Mediation Process
If you are an employer who is defending against a claim and wish to resolve your dispute without resorting to traditional litigation or an employee who wishes to take action against their employer, contact one of the experienced labour & employment lawyers at Mallins Law in Toronto. We represent employers of all sizes and across all industries, as well as employees and independent contractors in mediations. Reach out to us online or at 647-792-0310 to schedule a consultation.