Mediation Program

What is the mediation program?

It is the policy of the State of Tennessee to encourage the use of mediation as a valuable tool for state employees to resolve workplace issues. Mediation is a process whereby the parties themselves, with the assistance of a third party neutral, seek to develop and agree upon solutions to issues in the workplace. The primary purpose of the Tennessee Employee Mediation Program is to provide a responsive, informal, confidential, and effective means of resolving human resource issues as an alternative to administrative proceedings.

When is mediation appropriate?

Access to mediation services is available to most employees in the state service as a voluntary means of resolving workplace issues that are eligible for mediation, such as:

  • Suspensions, demotions, terminations
  • Workplace harassment and discrimination
  • Involuntary geographical transfer of an employee over 50 miles
  • Other workplace issues involving a relational, communication, or values conflict

The following actions are not considered matters eligible for mediation:

  • Actions that affect an employee serving an initial probationary period
  • Non-selection for promotion
  • Reductions in force
  • Shift, post, and overtime assignments
  • Reasonable work assignments outside those normally associated with the employee's assigned job classification
  • Salary range
  • Salary increases
  • Classification of position
  • Denial of leave requests except as provided for in T.C.A. § 8-50-110 and T.C.A. § 8-50-802
  • The terminology, formation, intent, implementation or construction of agency rules or policies
  • Any other matter over which an Appointing Authority has no control or jurisdiction or is without the authority to grant requested relief.

Who conducts the mediation?

Mediation is conducted by a neutral third party who has been trained and approved as a mediator. The mediator will facilitate the parties´ discussion in order to provide for better communication and understanding.

Why participate in mediation?

  • Mediation is free. The Mediation Program is available at no cost to the parties.
  • Mediation is fair and neutral. Parties have an equal say in the process and they, not the mediator, decide the terms of the settlement. There is no determination of guilt or innocence in the process.
  • Mediation saves time and money. Many mediations are completed in one meeting.
  • Mediation fosters cooperation by promoting a problem-solving approach to complaints.
  • Mediation improves communication and provides a neutral and confidential setting in which the parties can openly discuss their views on the underlying dispute. Enhanced communication can lead to mutually satisfactory resolutions.
  • Mediation helps to discover the real issues in your workplace. Parties share information, which can lead to a better understanding of issues affecting the workplace.

How do I request a mediation?

Employers or employees can submit a request for mediation to the Tennessee Employee Mediation Program Coordinator on the Request to Mediate form provided by the Department of Human Resources and found online here . The form can be e-mailed or mailed.



State of Tennessee - Department of Human Resources
505 Deaderick Street, 1st floor, Polk Building
Nashville, TN 37243

For any questions or to request more information contact the Mediation Coordinator at (615)253-4741.

View the Tennessee Employee Mediation Program Policy