Mediation is the process where a grievant and an agency representative, the respondent, use the assistance of a neutral third party to explore options for a mutually acceptable resolution of a grievance. The focus is on reaching an agreement based on each party’s interest rather than making a decision as to who is right or wrong. The expectation is that the parties will enter into mediation in good faith with the goal of reaching an agreement.

The mediation program was established by the Office of State Human Resources to resolve grievances at the lowest level possible, facilitate less adversarial resolution of workplace disputes, and reduce government spending. The Employee Grievance Policy standardized the formal grievance process across the state and established the requirement of mediation as the first step. 

The Office of State Human Resources has the responsibility for managing the mediation process including the training and selection of mediators for grievance cases. OSHR maintains a panel of qualified mediators to mediate grievances for state agencies and universities. OSHR periodically sponsors a 40-hour Employment Mediation training opportunity, conducted by Carolina Dispute Settlement Services, for state employees interested in becoming mediators. Interested employees are vetted to determine their candidacy to serve as a mediator. A candidate must successfully complete a 40-hour employment mediation training course and serve as an apprentice (co-mediator) for a minimum of four mediations under the guidance of an experienced senior mediator.

If you would like additional information about the mediation process or if you are interested in serving as a mediator, please contact Nikki Banks at

Read the Agency and University Grievance Policies

Mediation Coordinators may also access a secure site with additional tools and resources. For access to the site, please use the button below, log in, and request access. 

Access the Secure Coordinators Site