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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Alternative Dispute Resolution, commonly referred to as ADR, is a term which covers many alternatives to traditional methods for resolving conflicts or disputes. ADR has been used as a tool in resolving workplace disputes arising from poor communication, personality conflicts, or alleged discrimination. At the Department of Commerce, ADR is offered as an alternative method for resolving workplace disputes instead of the traditional equal employment opportunity (EEO) informal counseling, or formal complaint process. It is also offered as an alternative to the Department's Sexual Orientation Discrimination complaint process.

The Department has chosen mediation as the primary ADR method in resolving EEO disputes because it empowers the parties themselves to reach an acceptable resolution of the conflict.

For more information, contact your Bureau's EEO Officer or the Department's EEO ADR Manager, Barbara Toy at btoy@doc.gov or at 202-482-8193.

You may also see the Department's EEO Mediation Guide (web page; pdf format).


  • EEO Mediation: A Better Way to Resolve Disputes - Brochure PDF, Word
  • EEO Mediation: A Better Way to Resolve Disputes - Employee Fact Sheet PDF, Word
  • EEO Mediation: an Overview for Managers - Manager Fact Sheet PDF, Word
  • EEO Mediation: A Guide for Employees - Booklet PDF, Word
  • EEO Mediation: A Guide for Managers - Booklet PDF, Word