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Press Releases

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

McDermott, Obar Present Research to EEOC Members

SALISBURY, MD---Dr. E. Patrick McDermott, an assistant professor of legal issues and management with the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business at Salisbury University, and Dr. Ruth Obar, a senior research fellow at SU’s Center for Conflict Resolution, recently were part of a research team presenting results of a study before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Joining Dr. Anita Jose of Hood College, the SU representatives presented the results of their study, “Why do employers decline the EEOC’s offer to participate in the EEOC mediation program?” The study found three major factors in the lack of participation: Employers believe that the merits of the cases do not warrant mediation; employers believe the EEOC would not issue a reasonable cause finding; and many incorrectly assume the EEOC mediation program requires monetary settlement. The study found in most cases the EEOC could not have done anything differently to mediate the charge. Researchers concluded that data confirmed their finding that the perception of the charge’s merit within the EEOC drove the employers’ decisions not to use EEOC services. In most cases, employers conduct internal investigations of any charges prior to declining to participate in the EEOC’s mediation program, the study said. Presenters recommended the EEOC work to change the employers’ perceptions of the merits of charges investigated and allow charge investigations to proceed, offering mediation at a later point. These actions could help increase participation in the EEOC program. The full text of the presentation is available on the EEOC’s Web site, For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at

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