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Sources for Neutrals

A neutral is defined as a person whose function is to aid the parties in resolving the issue in controversy. A neutral shall have no official, financial, or personal conflict of interest with respect to the issues in controversy, unless such interest is fully disclosed in writing to all parties and all parties agree that the neutral may serve. In order to be effective, the participants in an ADR proceeding must perceive the neutral as completely impartial. Therefore, the EEOC strongly encourages agencies to go outside the agency in obtaining the services of a neutral.

In the event that an agency uses one of its own employees as a neutral, it must assure the neutrality and impartiality of the neutral. The EEOC does not prohibit agencies from using EEO Counselors as neutrals; however, the EEO Counselor cannot serve as the counselor and the neutral in the same case. Agencies should be aware that having EEO Counselors switch roles between traditional EEO counseling and the ADR program can be confusing to the parties. To avoid this confusion, agencies must clearly communicate to the parties the function being performed by the agency employee, whether EEO counseling or ADR.

Here is a list of federal agencies that offer the services of neutrals: