Advising Ohio Employers on the Pros and Cons of Arbitration

Strong representation in labor and employment dispute arbitrations

There are two types of labor arbitration. The first type is interest arbitration, which is used when the employer and union cannot agree on the terms of a collective bargaining agreement. The second type, called grievance arbitration, is used to resolve disputes arising out of the interpretation, administration, application or alleged violation of the terms and conditions of employment contained in the collective bargaining agreement.

Arbitration is also a common remedy in employment contract disputes. Employers often require that disputes about compensation, termination, and workplace conditions be resolved by arbitrators unless a statute dictates that an agency or court hear the dispute. At Gertsburg Licata, our Cleveland labor arbitration attorneys advise businesses on how they can force disputes to be heard in arbitration, how to prepare for arbitration, and how to conduct a hearing before arbitrators.

The advantages of arbitration

Labor and employment arbitration is often heard by the American Arbitration Association (AAA). The AAA has its own set of evidence rules and procedures. The aim of the AAA for arbitration disputes is to reach a decision within a month of the appointment of an arbitrator(s).

There are many advantages for employers in interest arbitration, grievance arbitration, and employment arbitration:

  • Arbitration is generally much less expensive and much quicker than standard court litigation.
  • Arbitrations are usually less formal and less intense than a court trial.
  • Disputes are heard by an arbitrator, often a retired judge, and not before a jury. Juries are usually more risky and unreliable than a judge, as they favor employees.
  • Generally, arbitrations have limits on discovery. Since the employer usually has the records and documents, this is an advantage for the employer.

Arbitration decisions typically cannot be appealed. This means each side only gets one chance to make a good impression.

How lawyers can make a difference

Some of the key arbitration issues we provide counsel to companies about are:

  • The choice of arbitrator. The AAA has specific rules on arbitrator selection. Since arbitration awards are very difficult to appeal, it is imperative to work towards selection of an arbitrator who will listen and appreciate your arguments. Arbitrators who have a conflict of interest or a bias should be excused.
  • The cost of arbitration. In many cases, the employer is responsible for the cost of arbitration. In some cases, the losing party pays for the arbitrator.
  • Representation. Both the employer and the union/employee have the right to have legal counsel at the arbitration. Our attorneys have extensive experience in labor and employment arbitration proceedings.
  • Remedies. Arbitration should allow for the same remedies as if the case was being heard in a state or federal court.

Mediation is another alternative to litigation. In mediation, a mediator tries to resolve the disputes amicably. The mediator does not make a decision. If the conflict cannot be resolved, the case proceeds to either arbitration or to litigation.

Make an appointment with a labor arbitration attorney as soon as possible

At Gertsburg Licata, our lawyers understand the best way to handle disputes before arbitration panels. We negotiate settlements when possible. Our Cleveland labor arbitration attorneys work to make all the factual and legal points the case demands. We work with professionals, such as value experts, when needed. To speak with a strong advocate today, call us at 216-573-6000. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.