The Office of Employee Appeals (OEA) has established the Mediation and Conciliation Program to try to resolve appropriate cases through mediation and conciliation rather than litigation. All cases are reviewed to determine the reasonable likelihood of settlement. Any party may file a request for mediation and conciliation with OEA, after which, upon the consent of all parties, the matter shall be placed on the mediation and conciliation docket.
Cases on the mediation and conciliation docket will be assigned to a mediator who shall promptly convene a conference for the purpose of attempting to reach a voluntary resolution of the appeal. The Administrative Judge assigned to an appeal may not serve as the mediator on that appeal. A mediator may not be called as a witness in any proceeding concerning matters raised in a case to which he/she is assigned to attempt mediation or conciliation.
The employee and his/her representative must attend the mediation conference. A representative of the agency with authority to approve a settlement by the agency shall either attend the conference or be available by telephone at the time set for and throughout the conference. The parties shall engage in good-faith discussion to resolve the matter.
If the mediator finds that a party has failed to engage in settlement discussions in good faith (including a failure to have available a representative with authority to settle), the mediator shall submit such a finding to the Administrative Judge supervising the mediation and conciliation docket. The Administrative Judge may enter such sanctions against the party as may be appropriate to further the objectives of the mediation and conciliation program.
The discussions at the conference and the offers of the parties shall be confidential and may not be received into evidence or otherwise disclosed in subsequent adjudication or litigation.
If the parties fail to reach settlement through mediation or conciliation, the case will be referred to an Administrative Judge for adjudication. If the parties reach settlement, the case will be dismissed in accordance with DC Official Code §1-606.06(b).