Problems can often be resolved when Commission staff help all parties involved in a dispute sort things out. One process we use is a resolution conference.
A resolution conference allows all parties to understand how others felt about the situation that brought them to this point . By keeping an open mind, the parties may be able to agree how to resolve the issue(s) at hand.
It is important to know that Commission staff do not take sides. We may ask some difficult questions of both complainants and respondents. It is our job to help find a solution to your complaint.
Benefits of Resolution Conferences
There are several reasons why a resolution conference is a good way to solve a dispute:
- It assists people directly involved in the issue to help create the solution
- It provides an opportunity for all parties to participate in the investigation
- People learn about each other, which can help prevent future problems
- The process promotes respect and compromise
Each resolution conference is different because the people affected, the circumstances and the types of possible harm are different in every case. If you think your problem is hurting more than just you, feel free to talk about this with Commission staff.
Quick facts about resolution
- It’s not optional. Once a complaint has been accepted by Commission staff, parties must participate if a resolution conference is appropriate
- It’s fast
- It’s final, because if an agreement is reached, both sides must support and live up to it
- It’s creative, because solutions can be tailored to your needs
- It’s within your control, rather than someone else deciding the outcome for you
Commission staff can assist multiple parties in a given dispute work out a solution. This can happen during a resolution conference. The result can be an agreement which reolves the dispute and allows everyone to move forward.
Here’s how it works:
Once a complaint has been accepted and all parties to the complaint are informed, Commission staff will coordinate with those involved to set a convenient date for the resolution conference. A resolution conference can take up to a day, so parties will need to schedule time for this. No expenses are paid by the Commission for parties involved in a resolution conference.
Resolution conferences are generally held at the Commission offices.
Information Gathering during Resolution Conference
During the resolution conference Commission staff will gather information. This means anything said during a Resolution Conference may become part of an investigation. Because of this, Resolution Conferences are called “on-the-record” resolutions.
If the situation is not resolved in the resolution conference, an alternative method of investigation will be conducted. If an investigation is conducted, this will lengthen the complaint process considerably.
These sample settlement agreements can help you understand the types of issues that can be resolved. They are organized by "protected area":