CVS Signs Mediation Agreement to Handle Potential Workplace Disputes

CVS Caremark, the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced the signing of a National Universal Agreement to Mediate (NUAM) to informally resolve workplace disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) before an EEOC investigation or potential litigation occurs.

”We applaud CVS Caremark and welcome their participation in the EEOC’s mediation program,” said Nicholas Inzeo, director of EEOC’s Office of Field Programs, which oversees the mediation program nationwide. “There are numerous benefits that flow from participating in the EEOC’s mediation program -- it is fair, non-adversarial, expeditious, and cost-effective. Additionally, mediation encourages employees and employers to craft the resolution to their conflict that best meets their mutual needs, bringing closure in a satisfactory manner to both parties.”

Under the terms of the NUAM, which was negotiated by the EEOC’s Miami District Office, any eligible discrimination charge filed with the EEOC in any of its 53 offices naming CVS or Caremark as the employer/respondent will be referred to mediation, as appropriate. The company will designate a corporate representative to handle all inquiries and other logistical matters related to potential charges in order to facilitate a prompt scheduling of the matter for EEOC mediation. EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.

“As a company that embraces diversity and prides itself on being a great place to work, we are pleased about this opportunity to collaborate with the EEOC on this national mediation program,” said Lisa Bisaccia, CVS Caremark Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. “We look forward to working with the EEOC on this mediation partnership as part of our long-standing commitment to our more than 200,000 employees – to respond fairly and efficiently to their concerns.”

EEOC said the use of mediation is a key component of its efforts to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness. In addition to the 200 national and regional Universal Agreements to Mediate (UAMs), EEOC district offices have entered into more than 1,500 mediation agreements with employers at the local levels within their respective jurisdictions.

The mediation partnership with CVS Caremark marks the 200th such national or regional agreement between the EEOC and a large employer (mainly Fortune 500 companies) and bolsters a multi-year trend of corporate America signing on to EEOC’s mediation program, which is one of the largest employment-related ADR programs of its kind nationwide, with approximately 12,000 mediations conducted annually.

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