After facing some initial problems in obtaining an additional supply of organic blueberries, Stacy’s business continues to flourish. As it happens, however, Stacy’s commercial kitchen in the industrial park had a visit from a local Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) inspector who discovered a few problems in the kitchen. As a result, Stacy is facing a $4,500 fine for some inadequate wiring and for not having appropriate safety shields on her mixers. Stacy received a notice from the local OSHA office explaining that she could ask for reconsideration of her fine—she would have to request a meeting with a local administrator to make that request. Also, according to the letter, if the initial meeting with the OSHA administrator did not produce an outcome with which Stacy was satisfied, Stacy could even move on to request mediation before ultimately having a right to request an administrative hearing about the fine.
Stacy didn’t want to pay the $4,500 fine and wanted to take advantage of the alternative dispute resolution mechanisms that the local OSHA office offered.
Stacy has asked you to help her with a plan for the initial meeting and possibly the mediation. A neighbor in the industrial park who had been fined by OSHA in the past told Stacy that the administrator who handles the initial meeting usually doesn’t make much, if any, reduction in the fine, so Stacy believes she needs to prepare for mediation also.
Explain a plan of action for Stacy to follow at the initial meeting (which will be a negotiation) and for a likely mediation. Explain the basics of negotiations and mediations to Stacy. Then, suggest to Stacy how she should approach these meetings. What should her attitude be? What facts should she know? Which resolutions should she propose? Which resolutions should she be willing to accept?