For the First Time, the United States Postal Service (USPS) Tries to Resolve a Workplace Dispute Through Online Mediation

USPS Online Mediation
The United States Postal Service (USPS) truly believes in the benefits of mediation for resolving workplace disputes. Their mediation program, which is called REDRESS (Resolve Employment Disputes, Reach Equitable Solutions Swiftly), is available to all employees as part of their Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint process.

Recognized as one of the country’s leading conflict resolution programs, REDRESS has received global recognition from the conflict resolution community and positive feedback from employees, supervisors, and their representatives for resolving disputes without the need for litigation.

According to the USPS website, the REDRESS mediation program maintains a roster of over 1000 neutral mediators throughout the USA. They are qualified to conduct mediations applying the transformative mediation method, which is based on the belief that the disputing parties are best able to decide whether and how to resolve their dispute.

Online Mediation – An Important and Innovative Step

On January 9, 2014 the United States Postal Service took an important and innovative step. They tried (for the first time) to resolve a workplace dispute through online mediation, with the following participants:

  • Parties: A USPS manager and an employee (with his union representative) in Guam
  • Online Mediator: Giuseppe Leone in Honolulu, Hawaii. Leone has been a mediator for the REDRESS program since 1998, and is the founder of Virtual Mediation Lab, an online mediation project sponsored by the Association for Conflict Resolution Hawaii Chapter
  • Observer: USPS EEO/ADR specialist in Sacramento, California

How It Went

The entire online mediation, which required joint and private meetings with the parties, lasted more than 3 hours — nonstop and without any technical problems whatsoever. All participants were connected with their PC or Ipad.

Learn How to Mediate Online
For more information about Virtual Mediation Lab 2-hour hands-on training in online mediation for individual mediators, mediation centers and ADR organizations click here