You can request mediation at the time of filing a report. Alternatively, if you initially decide against mediation and the matter proceeds to an investigation, you may still request mediation later on provided that the assessor has yet to complete the investigation. Any investigation that is underway will be suspended for a maximum of 30 days. A mediation process is conducted pursuant to McGill's Policy on Harassment and Discrimination and its accompanying Procedures.
When you request mediation, the OMR will refer the matter to a mediator with appropriate skills and training. The mediator will contact the other party or parties and ask if they agree to resolve the matter through mediation—all parties must agree before a mediation process can begin. This is true whether you request mediation at the time of filing a report or later on during an investigation.
Mediation is a confidential and voluntary process in which the mediator facilitates discussion between two or more parties on issues that have given rise to conflict and supports the parties to find their own resolution to the matter that they deem fair. The mediation process can take different forms: for example, the mediator may help the parties speak directly with one another or a mediator may shuttle back and forth between parties in separate locations. Either party may, at any time, withdraw from mediation.
Mediation can yield a range of outcomes that are helpful for the parties, such as:
- facilitated communication between the parties about the impact of the behavior
- a commitment by the parties to stop communications (direct or indirect, such as through friends on social media), and to avoid being in each other’s presence
- a commitment to participate in education or training related to harassment and/or discrimination
- an apology
If a matter cannot be resolved by mediation within 30 days, then you can choose to proceed to an investigation. If an investigation was already underway when mediation was attempted, then the investigation shall resume.
Mediation: a step-by-step guide
- You file a report of harassment and/or discrimination and request mediation.*
- The OMR contacts the respondent to determine whether they also consent to mediation. If yes, then the matter proceeds to mediation.
- If the matter is resolved by mediation:
- The confidential resolution shall be acknowledged by the parties in writing, in sufficient detail to allow for its implementation, with the mediator signing as a witness.
- The mediated resolution shall be deemed to be final and the parties shall waive any further internal recourse on this matter.
- The OMR will keep a signed copy of the resolution.
- If the matter is not resolved by mediation within 30 working days, then you can choose to proceed to an investigation (if an investigation was already underway when mediation was attempted, then the investigation shall resume).
* If you initially decide against mediation and the matter proceeds to an investigation, you may still request mediation later on provided that the assessor has yet to complete the investigation. Any investigation that is underway will be suspended for a maximum of 30 days.
The Office for Mediation and Reporting (OMR) seeks to ensure all parties know their rights in a mediation process. Please contact us for more information.
- Mediation is a voluntary process and will proceed only with the agreement of all parties.
- A qualified and impartial mediator will conduct the mediation.
- Either party may, at any time, withdraw from mediation.
- All parties have the right to an advisor. An advisor is defined as a member of McGill who is not paid for their services and who is there to support and guide you through a mediation process. The choice to have an advisor or not is entirely up to you and this would be a person of your choosing. For example, some individuals choose a McGill colleague or a union/association representative.
- All parties shall respect the privacy of the other party and maintain the confidentiality of information shared during the process.
- All information (e.g., statements or documents) shared specifically for the purposes of mediation cannot be referred to if the matter proceeds to an investigation, unless the party who provided this information consents to its use.
- If the parties reach a resolution through mediation, then the parties waive any further internal recourse based on the same facts.
- If the parties do not reach a resolution through mediation, then the reporting party may proceed with an investigation. If an investigation was already underway when mediation was attempted, then the investigation shall resume.