The author is an arbitrator and mediator in Oakland, Calif., and a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators. His practice includes labor and employment disputes, as well as civil and commercial proceedings. He has served (1980-87) as an administrative law judge for the California Public Employment Relations Board.
The resolution of sexual harassment disputes encompasses fa r more than the simple settlement of specific cases. Effective mediation of such cases by skilled neutrals also can "assist in the development of less oppressive and more equal w orkplace relationships," says author Barry Winograd. His article examines t he elements constituting the social and psychological landscape that play a role in the mediation of these cases.
As the mediation of grievance and employment disputes has increased in the past several years, men serving as mediators have faced special challenges in cases brought by women alleging sexual harassment by men. In some instances, male mediators may find themselves at a loss for words, if not understanding, in dealing with the passions that have brought the disputants into conflict.