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    EEOC Partners With Albertsons

    BOISE, Idaho -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Albertsons, Inc. today announced a national partnership agreement. Albertsons agreed that it would submit all appropriate charges of employment discrimination filed with the EEOC to the federal agency's voluntary mediation-based Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program.

    BOISE, Idaho -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Albertsons, Inc. today announced a national partnership agreement. Albertsons agreed that it would submit all appropriate charges of employment discrimination filed with the EEOC to the federal agency's voluntary mediation-based Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program.

    The Albertsons agreement is the eighteenth National Universal Agreement to Mediate (NUAM) entered into by the EEOC with large employers as part of the commission's initiative to informally resolve workplace disputes through ADR prior to an agency investigation or litigation.

    "We commend Albertsons for working cooperatively with us to achieve this mutually beneficial mediation agreement," said EEOC chair Cari M. Dominguez. "Mediation of workplace disputes is an efficient, nonadversarial, collaborative process. It saves time and money, and often achieves favorable outcomes for each party. For employers, it is a win-win situation, with nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking advantage of the EEOC mediation process."

    Expanding mediation is a key component of Dominguez's five-point plan to improve EEOC's overall operational efficiency and effectiveness. In addition to the 18 national mediation agreements, EEOC district offices have entered into nearly 300 mediation agreements with employers at the local and regional levels within their respective jurisdictions.

    "Albertsons is committed to diversity at every level of our organization," said Larry Johnston, chairman and c.e.o. of Albertsons. "Our track record in the area of employment diversity is excellent, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination in the workplace. Though the need for mediation may be infrequent, we strongly endorse the EEOC's view on voluntary mediation of all appropriate charges."

    Johnston added, "In the past, Albertsons has successfully mediated several cases with the EEOC. This new partnership agreement will help resolve any discrimination allegations anywhere in our company in a quick and effective manner."

    Under the terms of the NUAM, all eligible charges of discrimination filed with the commission naming a company or any of its subsidiaries as the employer/respondent will be referred to the EEOC's mediation unit, as appropriate. The companies designate corporate representatives to handle inquiries and other logistical matters related to potential charges in order to expedite a prompt scheduling of the matter for EEOC mediation.

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