Employment Arbitration Process

Arbitration: A Positive Employment Tool and Potential Antidote to Class Actions

Both employers and employees can be well served by arbitration when it comes to addressing workplace issues, according to a new report from the Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations (CIHLER) and the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR).

Cornell Center For Hospitality Research Both employers and employees can be well served by arbitration when it comes to addressing workplace issues, according to a new report from the Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations(CIHLER) and the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR). The report addresses concerns about arbitration from both the employees' and employers' point of view. Acknowledging the controversy surrounding arbitration, the report explains that arbitration is a fair but less-expensive approach to resolving employees' complaints. The new report, "Arbitration: A Positive Employment Tool and Potential Antidote to Class Actions," by Gregg A. Gilman and David Sherwyn, is available at no charge from CIHLER and the CHR. Gilman is co-chair of the Labor & Employment Practice Group of Davis & Gilbert and is on CIHLER's Advisory Board. Sherwyn is the John and Melissa Ceriale Professor of Hospitality Human Resources at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration and CIHLER's academic director.

Gilman and Sherwyn explain that arbitration is a fair and appropriate process for responding to employees' workplace issues. "One objection to arbitration that we have heard is this: Because employers implement the policy, it is somehow unfair to employees. But when you compare arbitration to the alternative, which is an EEOC investigation and litigation, arbitration is faster and less expensive for all."

Sherwyn added: "With regard to the results of arbitration, despite many arguments to the contrary, there is no evidence to support the claim that arbitration favors either side. In this article, we contend that arbitration is more favorable to employees than class litigation, although it is much less favorable to class action lawyers."

Gilman explained that arbitration systems are almost always part of a multi-step grievance system. "The litigation process is expensive for employers and time consuming for everyone, and it does not usually provide employees with the relief they seek," Gilman pointed out. "Many companies are now implementing requirements for arbitration as the final step of their dispute resolution procedure, but the best outcome remains an agreed-upon settlement between the employee and the employer. The policies that we outline in this report facilitate a resolution of this type."

About The Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations

The Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations was established in 2013 as a platform for students, employers, employees, unions, and their advocates involved in the hospitality industry. The institute's mission is to support educational programs, sponsor and disseminate research, and hold conferences and roundtables dedicated to the modernization of labor and employment relations, labor and employment law, human resource management, and leadership in the hospitality industry. To learn more about the institute and its projects, visit www.cihler.cornell.edu. 



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