Once a complaint is received, and notice issued to the Respondent, the Commission refers the complaint to the Rapid Charge Processing/Mediation Unit. Mediation is a process designed to expedite complaint processing. It is the pre-investigative attempt to resolve the alleged discrimination to the satisfaction of all parties to the complaint. The Commission staff serves as intermediator in this voluntary process.

An examination of the agency's records regarding mediation shows it to be highly successful.

Complaints received by the Commission were assigned for mediation within an average of five (5) working days. Mediation staff then made initial contact with both parties within three (3) to five (5) working days on the average.

When mediation was successful in parties reaching a satisfactory agreement, it occurred within an average of forty-five (45) calendar days from the date that the mediation staff first contacted both parties.

Nearly half of the complaints filed with the Commission are resolved through mediation. In FY 1980, 4.6 of every ten (10) cases were thus resolved. The mediation unit processed three hundred ninety-three (393) cases, achieving satisfactory agreements in one hundred sixty (160) complaints. In addition, the mediation unit handled two hundred fifty-six (256) Pre-Intake Settlements, resolving one hundred forty-five (145) cases. Pre-Intake Settlement was a pilot project that the Commission engineered to process allegations of discrimination, prior to an official complaint being filed.

Complaints resolved through mediation involved nonmonetary and monetary settlements. All settlements contained provisions for non-retaliation, and non-discrimination against the complainant as well as maintenance of practices consistent with Chapter 601A, Code of Iowa.

Other major provisions of settlements include back pay awards, employment, re-employment, promise of next available position, retroactive seniority, policy changes, neutral employment references, letters of apology, accommodations for disabilities or religion, and the establishment of a procedure for reporting and correcting harassment.

In those instances where mediation does not result in complaint resolution the complaint is referred for investigation.


1980 Annual Report Main Page