The MDHR Mediation Program

What is the MDHR Mediation Program?

The department's mediation program is a voluntary alternative dispute resolution process by which the parties attempt to settle their dispute with the help of a trained mediator.

There is no direct cost to either party for the mediation service. If mediation is successful in resolving the discrimination issue, the case will be closed without an investigation and the department will take no further action. If the parties are not able to reach an agreement in mediation, the department will proceed with the investigation process and decide if there is probable cause to believe discrimination occurred.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a confidential dispute resolution process in which a trained neutral mediator assists the charging party and respondent to resolve claims of discrimination without assigning fault or blame to either party. All information shared during a mediation session is regarded as confidential and cannot be revealed to anyone outside the mediation session including the Department of Human Rights.

What occurs during mediation?

The mediator explains the process and ground rules including confidentiality. Parties to the dispute are given an opportunity to present the issues from their perspective. The mediator assists the parties in considering a wide range of solutions.

Who are the mediators?

Mediators are volunteers who have completed mediation training. Our mediators include attorneys, retired judges and professional mediators. Mediators do not make decisions for the parties, give legal advice and have no authority to impose settlement on the parties.

Why does mediation work?

  • Neither party is blamed.
  • Participants create and are responsible for their own agreements.
  • Each party negotiates the changes necessary to resolve the conflict.
  • Participants are responsible for the implementation of the outcome.
  • Feelings, facts, and behaviors are considered and communicated with the help of a trained, neutral mediator.
  • All information about the case is kept confidential.

How does mediation work?

A trained mediator listens carefully to both sides. She or he:

  • Creates a safe environment that allows parties to interact.
  • Clarifies points of agreement and disagreement.
  • Helps identify new options.
  • Structures the communications between the parties.
  • Helps draw up an agreement between the parties.

Questions about Mediation

Write to:

Mediation Program
Minnesota Department of Human Rights
Freeman Building
625 Robert Street North
Saint Paul, MN 55155


Telephone: 651.539.1096
Toll Free: 800.657.3704 (ask for mediation)
Fax: 651.296.9042

This information does not constitute legal advice nor should it be interpreted as legal advice.