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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

NAVSEA is committed to providing Alternative Dispute Resolution proceedings that reflect confidentiality, neutrality, and enforceability.

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)?

Alternative Dispute Resolution is a means of reaching resolution without resorting to lengthy and expensive formal complaint processes. ADR can be used in any dispute or conflict and is offered through both EEO and HR Offices. ADR is offered for workplace disputes, administrative grievances, and EEO complaints at all levels and stages of the process. The most common form of ADR used by the Department of Navy is mediation.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is an ADR technique that resolves disputes quickly, effectively, economically, and at the most appropriate level. In mediation, a trained third-party neutral, who has no decision-making authority, assists the parties in resolving their issue(s) by using interest-based problem-solving techniques. These interest-based problem-solving techniques help to resolve issues by:

  • Focusing on interests (not positions)
  • Creating options for mutual gain
  • Using objective criteria to ensure the legitimacy of any agreement
  • Separating the people from the problem

Mediation provides individuals with a separate, confidential space allowing for open and candid discussions without fear that each party's statements could later be used against them.

Who Can Use ADR?

Any employee can use ADR, including high-level managers, temporary appointees, professionals, and support/administrative staff. ADR is appropriate for interpersonal disputes, possible disciplinary or performance-related actions, as well as concerns about prohibited personnel practices or discrimination.

How Effective is ADR?

ADR has been shown to be highly effective in efficiently resolving workplace disputes and decreasing the amount of destructive conflict, while conserving scarce resources.

Why Select ADR?

The following qualities make ADR an efficient technique for resolving disputes:

  • Voluntary - At anytime, the ADR process can be stopped if either party wishes
  • Confidential - What is said during a mediation usually cannot be disclosed
  • Control - Gives parties more control in creating a mutually satisfactory outcome to their dispute
  • Collaborative Problem-Solving - Stresses creative problem-solving, increasing communication between parties, and improving the work environment
  • Timeliness - Promotes early resolutions
  • Economical - Saves money
  • Flexible - Permits "non-legal" issues such as communication problems and personality conflicts to be addressed and resolved

Maintaining a productive work environment in which disputes are settled quickly and at the lowest possible organizational level is essential to the success of the Department of the Navy (DON) and the accomplishments of its national security mission.