Mediation means that a neutral party meets with the employee, the employee’s attorney, a government representative, and the government representative’s attorney in order to come to a fair consensus. Mediation is not supposed to result in an outcome that is favorable to one side, but unfavorable to the other; both sides must compromise.
A successful mediation is when both parties come away from the table having given something up and having gotten something in return. In mediation, there is no absolute winner, but the benefit is that the parties no longer have to resort to bringing their case in front of a judge.
When a government employee has followed the steps and procedures in filing a discrimination complaint, there may come a time when the government offers formal mediation to resolve the conflict. This can also occur when the employee’s attorney has filed a request for a Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) trial, and then also files a formal request with the MSPB for directed mediation. The government employee must go into mediation with the resolve to compromise; mediation is not the place to be insistent on getting entirely your own way.