CHAPTER 5 AN ANALYSIS OF FACTORS PRESENT IN CHALLENGED AND VACATED LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT ARBITRATION AWARDS
Michael Jedel, Helen LaVan and Robert Perkovich
Arbitration has become, to a large extent, more expensive, slower and less final than it once was. Party challenges to arbitration awards in court are partly responsible for this. Certainly, these challenges reduce the certainty that the arbitral decision is final and binding, as had been negotiated by the parties. The purpose of this chapter is to identify the characteristics of labor and employment arbitration cases in which the losing party has challenged the award, and in particular, those cases where the award was eventually vacated, usually based on an act or omission by the arbitrator. This study adds to what we already know about awards that are vacated in that it considers more variables than earlier studies did.
To obtain a random sample of cases for this study, we searched the LexisNexis database of litigated labor and employment law cases for cases decided between 2003-2007 that involved challenges to awards. The search yielded 573 cases, from which we randomly selected 101 cases to study. We extrapolated conclusions from the random sample, believing that they are representative of the 573 cases from which the sample was drawn.