The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR), an agency within the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety/Office of the Attorney General, is charged with enforcing the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the New Jersey Family Leave Act. DCR accepts and investigates complaints of discrimination, harassment and retaliation in employment, housing, or places of public accommodation, and uses a variety of processes to resolve disputes, including mediation, conciliation, and negotiation.
DCR has engaged Harvard’s Dispute Systems Design Clinic to propose criteria for selecting cases for early-stage mediation, as well as to create proposed written guidelines to be used in facilitating voluntary settlements among the parties during an investigation.
Activities & Deliverables
- Conduct interviews with investigators, attorneys, and agency management to determine which cases are good candidates for early-stage mediation referrals;
- Conduct interviews with investigators, attorneys, and agency management to determine the ways in which investigators currently work with the parties to facilitate voluntary settlement negotiations during an investigation;
- A final report and/or presentation detailing key observations about the current system, with recommendations for innovations and improvements, including:
- Proposed written criteria to help determine which cases are appropriate for early-stage mediation;
- Proposed written guidelines for investigators to use if they wish to attempt to facilitate a voluntary negotiated settlement agreement between the parties during an investigation.