(A) Policy. The Tribe believes that, where used properly and in the appropriate circumstances, mediation of employment discrimination claims can provide faster, less contentious, and more productive results in resolving discrimination claims and eliminating workplace discrimination. Accordingly, any claimant who submits a claim under this article shall have the opportunity to participate in the voluntary mediation process. Any claimant who chooses to participate in the voluntary mediation process shall not, in any respect, be prejudiced by so choosing.
(B) Notice of Voluntary Process. Upon the filing of a claim in accordance with KTC 6.10.530, a claimant shall be notified of the process for participation in the voluntary mediation process. The claimant shall have ten (10) calendar days in which to notify the Tribe of their willingness to participate in mediation. If the claimant has indicated willingness to participate in mediation within this time frame, resolution of the dispute shall proceed pursuant to the procedures outlined in KTC 6.10.550 through 6.10.590.
(C) Stay of Proceedings. In the event that a claimant elects to engage in mediation, all subsequent time frames set forth in this article shall be stayed pending the completion of the mediation process.
(D) Confidentiality. Except as otherwise required by applicable law, confidentiality during the mediation process must be maintained by all parties. In order to ensure confidentiality, any person acting as a mediator shall be precluded from performing any investigative function related to the claim.
(E) Mediation Procedures and Standards.
(1) Once a claimant has agreed to engage in mediation of a claim, the Tribe shall provide a list of potential mediators to the claimant. The claimant shall also have the right to propose potential mediators, but shall not be required to do so. The mediator shall be chosen by mutual agreement of the parties.
(2) Mediation may take place in person, telephonically, or by videoconference; however, both parties and the mediator must agree upon the arrangements. Mediation should be expected to be completed within one (1) day, though it may be extended upon the agreement of both parties. During mediation, all parties may, at their own expense, be represented by an attorney or may choose to represent themselves.
(3) Prior to the commencement of mediation, the mediator may request information relating to the claim. Such request shall be designed to provide the mediator with sufficient information necessary to facilitate resolution of the claim, but to the extent possible, shall minimize burdens placed on the parties in preparing such information.
(4) While the mediation process is strictly voluntary, any settlement agreement reached by the parties through the mediation process shall be final and binding on both the Tribe and the claimant. Upon execution of a settlement agreement, the claimant’s claim shall be considered fully resolved, and shall not be subject to any further consideration or appeals pursuant to this article.
(5) Should the parties fail to come to agreement following mediation, the stay of proceedings shall be lifted beginning on the first calendar day following completion of the mediation process, and the claim shall be processed in accordance with the procedures outlined in KTC 6.10.540 through 6.10.580.