United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Oct 23, 2020

§ 1403.
Mediation
(a)
Availability of mediation
(1)
Notification regarding mediation
(A)
Covered employee

Upon receipt of a claim under section 1402 of this title, the Office shall notify the covered employee who filed the claim about the process for mediation under this section and the deadlines applicable to such mediation.

(B)
Employing office

Upon transmission to the employing office of the claim pursuant to section 1402(b) of this title, the Office shall notify the employing office about the process for mediation under this section and the deadlines applicable to such mediation.

(2)
Initiation
(A)
In general

During the period described in subparagraph (B), either the covered employee who filed a claim under section 1402 of this title or the employing office named in the claim may file a request for mediation with the Office, which shall promptly notify the other party. If the other party agrees to the request, the Office shall promptly assign a mediator to the claim, and conduct mediation under this section.

(B)
Timing

A covered employee or an employing office may file a request for mediation under subparagraph (A) during the period beginning on the date that the covered employee or employing office, respectively, receives a notification under paragraph (1) regarding a claim under section 1402 of this title and ending on the date on which a hearing officer issues a written decision relating to the claim under section 1405(g) of this title or the covered employee files a civil action with respect to the claim in accordance with section 1408 of this title, as applicable.

(3)
Failure to request or accept mediation to have no effect on treatment of claim

The failure of a party to request mediation under this section with respect to a claim, or the failure of a party to agree to a request for mediation under this section, may not be taken into consideration under any procedure under this title with respect to the claim, including a preliminary review under section 1402a of this title, a formal hearing under section 1405 of this title, or a civil action under section 1408 of this title.

(b)
Process
Mediation under this section—
(1)
may include the Office, the covered employee, the employing office, and one or more individuals appointed by the Executive Director from the master list developed and maintained under subsection (e), and
(2)
shall involve meetings with the parties during which, at the request of any of the parties, the parties shall be separated, for the purpose of resolving the dispute between the covered employee and the employing office.
(c)
Mediation period

The mediation period shall be 30 days, beginning on the first day after the second party agrees to the request for the mediation. The mediation period may be extended for one additional period of 30 days at the joint request of the covered employee and employing office. Any deadline in this chapter relating to a claim for which mediation has been agreed to in this section, that has not already passed by the first day of the mediation period, shall be stayed during the mediation period. The Office shall notify in writing the covered employee and the employing office when the mediation period has ended.

(d)
Independence of mediation process

No individual, who is appointed by the Executive Director to mediate, may conduct or aid in a hearing conducted under section 1405 of this title with respect to the same matter or shall be subject to subpoena or any other compulsory process with respect to the same matter.

(e)
Master list of mediators
(1)
Development and maintenance of master list

The Executive Director shall develop and maintain a master list of individuals who are experienced in adjudicating, arbitrating, or mediating the kinds of personnel and other matters for which mediation may be held under this section. Such list may include, but not be limited to, members of the bar of a State or the District of Columbia and retired judges of the United States courts.

(2)
Consideration of candidates

In developing the master list under this subsection, the Executive Director shall consider candidates recommended by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service or the Administrative Conference of the United States.

(Pub. L. 104–1, title IV, § 404, formerly § 403, Jan. 23, 1995, 109 Stat. 32; Pub. L. 114–6, § 2(a), Mar. 20, 2015, 129 Stat. 81; renumbered § 404 and amended Pub. L. 115–397, title I, §§ 101(c)(2), 104, Dec. 21, 2018, 132 Stat. 5301, 5305.)
cite as: 2 USC 1403