Due to a cut in federal funding, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission must slash $8 million from its budget this year, thus funding for the district offices is in limbo, and the fate of the agency’s much-hyped mediation program hangs in the balance.

The funding picture is still unclear because EEOC Chairwoman Ida Castro has not yet decided where the cuts will be made. Attorneys on both sides of the employment bar in New York are worried that the agency’s heavily funded mediation program will be sliced in the budget process. And if that is the case, they have serious concerns about the quality of the mediations and the agency’s ability to reduce its caseload.