So Your Company Wants to Implement an Employment Arbitration Program: A Step-By-Step Guide - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 57, No. 4
David Benck is a corporate attorney with a special emphasis in employment law. He has been involved in developing employment policies, training and counseling, implementing procedures, conducting internal investigations, company reductions in force, and mediations and negotiations with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, and state counterparts. Mr. Benck is currently associated with Momentum Business Solutions in Birmingham, Alabama. He may be reached at DavidBenck@yahoo.com.
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
There are several steps involved in implementing an arbitration program for workplace disputes. David M. Benck goes through the steps, highlighting the key issues involved and the questions that may arise after the program is launched.
Most large companies, and many smaller in size, have opted to develop an alternative dispute resolution program for employees. Some programs provide for one dispute resolution process, usually arbitration, while others provide for two or more nonbinding processes, including mediation, prior to resorting to arbitration.
Your company has decided to implement an employment arbitration program and that responsibility falls to you. Where do you begin? First, the arbitration agreement must be drafted. Only an experienced attorney knowledgeable in both employment and arbitration law should draft an arbitration agreement. Everything included or omitted from the arbitration agreement may have important ramifications. There simply are too many land mines not to retain an attorney.
This article focuses on the implementation of the program once the arbitration agreement is drafted. However, there are some issues that affect both drafting and implementation. For example, who will administer the program? If an employment arbitration program is internally administered, questions of fairness will undoubtedly arise. Most companies decide to provide for arbitration under the rules of an established ADR organization, such as the American Arbitration Association, and have the program administered by that organization. If you choose the AAA to administer your company’s ADR program, the employment arbitration agreement will need to be approved by the AAA to determine if it complies with the Due Process Protocol for Mediation and Arbitration of Statutory Employment Disputes.