Arbitration Awards - Chapter 9 - Fundamentals of Labor Arbitration
Rocco M. Scanza and Jay E. Grenig both serve on the American Arbitration Association's labor panel.
Rocco M. Scanza is an attorney, arbitrator and mediator of labor and employment disputes. He is also the executive director of Cornell University's Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution, where he teaches courses in workplace alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Scanza was formerly a national vice president at the American Arbitration Association. He graduated from Queens College in New York City and Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He lives and works in Ithaca, N.Y.
Jay E. Grenig is a professor of law at Marquette University Law School. He has served as an arbitrator or mediator in over 2,000 labor and employment disputes. A member of the National Academy of Arbitrators, the American Law Institute, and the Order of the Coif, Mr. Grenig is also a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He formerly chaired the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools and served as a consultant to the National Commission on Employment Policy. He has written or co-written numerous books and articles.
Originally from Fundamentals of Labor Arbitration
An arbitration award is the decision of the arbitrator on the issue (or issues) the parties agreed to submit to arbitration. The award is usually one sentence and it states whether the grievance is denied or granted, in whole or in part.
The award should finally and conclusively decide each issue submitted to the arbitrator. The parties may stipulate that the arbitrator has the authority to formulate the issues to be resolved in arbitration. Labor arbitration awards are almost always in written form and signed by the arbitrators. The Labor Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association require a written award signed “either by the neutral arbitrator or by a concurring majority if there is more than one arbitrator.”
In the rare case where the parties request an oral decision at the conclusion of the hearing, most arbitrators later issue a written decision.
9:02 THE ARBITRATOR’S OPINION
In many other types of arbitration, the arbitrator is not required or even encouraged to explain the reasons for the award. That is not the case in labor arbitration. Thus, an arbitrator’s one-line award is usually accompanied by a written opinion setting forth the parties’ positions, the facts established by the evidence, and the arbitrator’s reasons for the award. The award and accompanying opinion are frequently referred to as “the award” in labor and employment arbitration.
9:03 USE OF ARBITRAL PRECEDENT
One of the most frequently asked questions advocates ask about labor arbitration awards is whether the arbitrator is required to follow past arbitration awards. The answer is no, although such awards may influence the arbitrator’s decision. Courts have held that a labor arbitrator is not bound by the result in a prior case unless the arbitration agreement so provides. However, if a past award involves the same employer and union, an arbitrator will be unlikely to ignore it, particularly if the prior case involved the same contract language at issue in the current arbitration.
9:02 The Arbitrator's Opinion
9:03 Use of Arbitral Precedent
9:04 Time Limits for Rendering the Award
9:05 Transmitting the Award
9:06 Consent Awards
9:07 Awards by Multi-Arbitrator Boards
9:08 Arbitration in the Absence of a Party or Its Representative
9:09 Interim Awards
9:10 Advisory Opinions
9:11 Functus Officio and Retention of Jurisdiction
9:12 Clarification or Interpretation of Awards
9:13 Modifying and Correcting Awards
9:14 Statutory Grounds to Vacate Awards
9:15 Other Grounds to Challenge Awards
9:16 Violation of the Duty of Fair Representation
9:17 Arbitrator Immunity from Testifying