What The Courts Say About Mandatory Arbitration Under Title VII Claims - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 54, No. 4
Stuart L. Bass
The author is an associate professor of business law at the Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University. He is a member of the panel of arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association, and serves on various municipal arbitration panels. He is a mediator for the New York State Public Employment Relations Board and an arbitrator for the New York State Employment Relations Board.
With claims rooted in employment discrimination soaring in recent years, coupled with expanded legislation covering discrimination in the workplace, many employers are seeking alternative avenues for resolving conflict and disputes in the workplace, particularly Title VII and other federal statutory claims. Arbitration has become one such alternative which is supported in the courts as well as within certain legislative framework. However, despite growing support for employer-employee agreements covering mandatory arbitration agreements, there have been concerns raised by the courts as to the circumstances and applicability surrounding these agreements. As a result, greater scrutiny and analysis of the Gardner-Denver and Gilmer rulings have come into focus with the recent Supreme Court decision in Wright v. Universal Maritime Services Corp. This article attempts to clarify the issues involved in these leading cases and looks at the implications of the Wright decision.