By now you would have heard about Dr Eva Carneiro and Jose Mourinho. The Mail Online suggests that Chelsea Football club is bracing itself for a legal battle.
Jose Mourinho dropped Dr Eva Carneiro from the bench in August because he believed that she acted incorrectly when rushing to help Chelsea player Eden Hazard. A member of the public was alleged to have heard Mourinho say ‘filha da puta’ which translated into English is rather rude and offensive.
So what would be the basis of Dr Eva Carneiro’s legal action. Well I suspect a discrimination case could be one avenue but she would have to prove that she was treated less favourable than a male counterpart. Would Mourinho suspend a male doctor for the same action? How about his alleged abusive rant. This would have to be substantiated and evidence would have to be gathered to show that he acted inappropriately by using offensive language.
It is now known that Dr Carneiro has voiced displeasure against the FA investigation as she states, at no time was she asked to comment on the sexist remark Mourinho was alleged to have made. This is not the first time that I have seen HR issues in football handled in such a poor fashion. All kinds of discrimination seems to be overlooked by the FA and others. Had Dr Carneiro been part of a ‘normal’ organisation there would have been processes and procedures in place to ensure transparency such as investigating both sides, writing a report of evidence, having a meeting with both parties and then reaching a conclusion based on evidence. Mediation would be another option available if the result of the investigation caused either party to reject the findings. Mediation before legal proceedings would give both parties the opportunity to air their views and reach settlement favourable to both parties.
Mediations are held ‘without prejudice’ and cannot be used in court proceedings. The mediator cannot be called to give evidence in any court proceeding after a mediation takes place and all notes taken are shredded for security. A mediator is viewed as a facilitator and endeavours to give support to both parties.
There is a cost element to mediation but it is significantly lower than pursuing your grievance in the courts. The courts also look favourably at those who have made an attempt to mediate. Moreover, the courts would point parties in the direction of mediation to solve differences before fully committing to legal action.
If Dr Carneiro and Jose Mourinho were both agreeable, mediation would be a good option. Clearly cost would not be an issue for Mourinho or potentially Dr Carneiro but surely we should encourage people such as this to use mediation in the first instance to highlight the availability of mediation and its effectiveness.