After thirty-two plus years practicing law I have had more than my share of clients tell me that their particular dispute was not about the money. Any lawyer practicing for any length of time has had the same experience and usually when a client says it isn’t about the money it typically is ALL about the money or becomes about the money once the client gets the first bill. One of the reasons I love mediating employment/workplace disputes is that many times these disputes are truly not driven by money and allow for creativity with non-monetary terms.
For example, letters of reference or recommendation can often be negotiated as a part of a settlement many times to include langauage that is different than what the employer may typically use. Mutual nondisparagement clauses are another example – I won’t badmouth you and you don’t badmouth me. Amending the employee’s personnel file to change a termination to a resignation is a simple but effective non-monetary term. Changing shifts, work stations or supervisors can also be considered for current employees.
The list could go on and on depending on the particular case. Do not lose sight of the fact that many times employment disputes truly are about more than money so open your mind and be creative.