Department of Civil Rights

Velma J. Korbel, Director

350 S. 5th St., Room 239
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Phone: (612) 673-3012
Fax: (612) 673-2599
TTY: (612) 673-2157

Office Hours:
8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Complaint Investigations Division - Mediation Program

What is mediation?

  • Mediation is a confidential and informal process in which a trained mediator assists the parties in reaching a negotiated resolution of a charge of discrimination. In the mediation process, participants maintain control over any outcome that is reached.

How much will mediation cost?

  • There is no direct cost to either party for the mediation service.

Who is the Mediator?

  • MDCR uses a group of committed volunteers who are trained third-party mediators, qualified as Rule 114 Neutrals. A “neutral” is an individual or organization that provides a service such as mediation, as defined in Rule 114.02(b) of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice. All mediators are neutral unbiased professionals with no stake in the outcome of the mediation process.

Is mediation required?

  • No. Participation in MDCR’s mediation program is voluntary. If either party declines to participate in mediation, the charge will be processed just like any other charge.

What is voluntary mediation?

  • Two parties voluntarily agree to resolve their differences with the help of a neutral third-party mediator. In voluntary mediation, parties create their own agreement; the mediator simply assists the process.

At which stages of case processing can mediation be used?

  • Parties are formally offered mediation during two different stages of MDCR’s process. Early mediation is offered immediately after the charge of discrimination is signed. The second opportunity occurs during the screening process, after both parties submit their evidence.

What is early mediation?

  • Early mediation is an option parties can utilize prior to responding to the charge filed. If a resolution is reached, the case will be dismissed. If a resolution is not reached, the Respondent will receive two weeks from the date of the mediation to submit the position statement.

How long does mediation usually take?

  • Mediations usually last for approximately 4 hours. However, we encourage parties to keep their schedule open for the entire day. 

Do I have to sit in the same room as the other party during the mediation?

  • No it is not required. There are two rooms that are available, however, parties can choose to be in the same room.

What happens if a charge is not resolved in mediation?

  • If the parties do not reach an agreement, the case will proceed with the investigation process. All information shared during a mediation session is regarded as confidential and cannot be revealed to anyone outside the mediation session including the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights.

Can the parties bring an attorney or other representative to the mediation session?

  • Yes. While it is not necessary to have an attorney or other representative in order to participate in the mediation program, either party may choose to do so.

Are most charges resolved in mediation?

  • Most charges that enter mediation resolve successfully. For example, in fiscal year 2013, the mediation program achieved a 79% success rate.

How can I learn more about the mediation program?

  • For additional information about the mediation program, please review the Department’s mediation brochure or email mdcrintake@minneapolismn.gov.

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Last updated Jun 29, 2017

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People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000.
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Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-637-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500. 

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