ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
The 78th Air Base Wing Equal Employment Opportunity Office recently opened the Alternative Dispute Resolution Office to give Defense Department civilians and active-duty military members a different way to resolve complaints.
The ADR Office officially stood up Oct. 1 in Building 708 at 655 Seventh St. at Robins, with the goal of not only resolving EEO and Military Equal Opportunity complaints, but also to resolve workplace disputes.
Ghika Levy, 78th ABW EO deputy director, said the office helps Airmen work out their complaints before they escalate.
“The Robins ADR Office is an avenue to explore various options of managing conflicts and resolving disputes at the lowest level without having a formal proceeding, such as an investigation or hearing before an Investigation Resolution Directorate investigator or an EEO Commission Administrative Judge,” she said.
Levy said the Robins EEO Office has used the ADR method for handling complaints in the past.
“It is the policy of the U.S. Air Force to voluntarily use ADR to the maximum extent practicable and appropriate to resolve disputes at the earliest stage feasible, by the fastest and least expensive method possible and at the lowest possible organizational level,” she said.
The Air Force ADR Program recognizes the value in using ADR techniques toward efficient and timely resolution of workplace disputes arising from a variety of administrative dispute procedures, Levy said.
The ADR procedures currently employed within the Air Force, Levy said, are primarily mediation or facilitation.
ADR is a core element of the EEO process.
“The EEO Office already had personnel with the skills and attributes to perform mediations as third party neutrals,” Levy said. “The expertise in the EEO Office was necessary to secure appropriate resources and support to establish the ADR Office.”
Levy said as the office develops a group of trained collateral duty mediators, it aims to expand capabilities and facilitate and/or mediate workplace disputes.
“This would allow managers, supervisors and employees the opportunity to resolve conflicts at the lowest level and early enough in the process where parties may not find it necessary to file a complaint,” she said. ”This will soon be another tool and option to address issues, resolve concerns, and refocus efforts toward mission readiness.”
For more information on the ADR process, call the ADR Office Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., at 478-926-2700, or call the EEO Office at 478-926-2131.