In conjunction with Municipal Civil Service, the City of Austin has authorized a voluntary Alternative Dispute Resolution Process (ADR). Alternative Dispute Resolution is an informal process to assist in the voluntary resolution of the following personnel actions:

  • Disciplinary Probations,
  • Disciplinary Suspensions,
  • Demotions,
  • Discharges, or
  • Denials of Promotion.

Alternative Dispute Resolution includes the following methods of dispute resolution:

  1. Mediation - Mediation is a forum in which an impartial person, the Ombudsperson or other neutral Facilitator, assists in communication between the parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or understanding among them. The Ombudsperson / Facilitator may not impose his or her own judgment regarding the issues upon the parties. -
  1. Mediated Communication - In some conflicts, direct communication between the parties is unlikely to resolve the issue. In mediated communication, the parties do not meet each other face to face, but communicate only via the Ombudsperson / Facilitator who conveys information back and forth between the parties. The Ombudsperson / Facilitator serve not only as a relay for questions and answers, but can also provide suggestions for moving the conflict toward resolution in private discussions with each party. If trust and a level of mutual understanding are developed, face-to-face communications may be started.
  2. Facilitation and Information Sharing - In some cases, the Employee’s appeal will raise questions of fact regarding the Department’s action. The ADR process may provide information or clarification which resolves the Employee’s issue(s).

The City of Austin Ombudsperson is responsible for coordination of the ADR Process. At the time the employee files a Notice of Appeal, they must select the ADR Process (ADR) where indicated on the Notice of Appeal form. The form Election To Participate in the Alternative Dispute Resolution Process must be filed with the Ombudsperson Office.