United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Outreach and Compliance Coordination Program: Mediation (ADR)

The United States President and Attorney General have encouraged the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in matters that are the subject of civil litigation. The ADR Act of 1966 authorizes use of ADR to resolve administrative disputes.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Outreach and Compliance Coordination Program (OCCP) is administered by the Office of Small Business and Civil Rights (SBCR). OCCP leads NRC's external ADR efforts related to NRC Federal financially assisted programs and activities.  OCCP uses ADR as part of its complaint process, whenever appropriate.

OCCP refers all disputes to a mediation agency designated by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that:

  1. Fall within the jurisdiction of the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; and
  2. Contain all information necessary for further processing.

The Age Discrimination Act requires the complainant and recipient to participate in the mediation process to reach an agreement, or make an informed judgment that an agreement is not possible.  At least one meeting must be held with the mediator before OCCP will accept a judgment that an agreement is not possible.  The parties are not required to meet with the mediator at the same time. If the parties reach an agreement, the mediator will reduce it to writing and have the parties sign.  The mediator will send a copy of the agreement to OCCP. No further action will be taken, unless the complainant or recipient fails to comply with the agreement.

Mediation

The mediator protects the confidentiality of all information obtained during the mediation process.  The mediator will not testify in any adjudicative proceeding, produce any document, or otherwise disclose any information obtained in the course of the mediation process without prior approval of the head of the agency appointing the mediator.

The mediation process will be used for a maximum of 60 days after receiving a complaint.

Mediation ends if:

  1. From the date of receipt of the complaint 60 days elapsed; or
  2. Prior to the end of that 60-day period, the mediator determines an agreement is reached; or
  3. Prior to the end of that 60-day period, the mediator determines that an agreement cannot be reached.

The mediator will return unresolved complaints to OCCP.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, June 03, 2013