Human behaviour is the biggest barrier

Most disputes can be settled through mediation
By Barry B. Fisher
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Mediation has become an integral part of the litigation process in labour and employment law disputes. Whether the dispute involves an alleged human-rights violation, wrongful dismissal or a grievance under a collective agreement, more and more mediation, and not litigation, is the way such disputes are ultimately resolved.

There are a number of factors that seem to have little or no effect on determining whether or not a specific mediation will succeed or fail. The amount of money in dispute seems to have little or no effect on the likelihood of a successful mediation. Cases involving large amounts of money are neither easier nor harder to settle than cases involving smaller amounts of money.

The degree to which there are differences in the facts is usually a small factor in determining whether or not mediation will succeed. Dealing with disputed facts in a mediation simply becomes another risk factor to be taken into account in assessing whether or not it makes more sense to settle the matter than proceed to court or arbitration.