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The menu of available forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is limited only by the imaginations of attorneys and their clients. The label “ADR” is applied to such typical dispute-resolution techniques as negotiation, mediation and, of course, arbitration. Less typical ADR methods include mini-trials, med/arb combinations, interest arbitration, non-binding advisory arbs, and more. No one size fits all.
However, the US Supreme Court’s recent decisions have made binding arbitration agreement particularly appealing to employers who want to avoid class-action suits under the FairLabor Standards Act and #MeToo actions.
WHY SHOULD YOU ATTEND
Knowing the pros and cons of arbitration agreements and how to draft an arbitration agreement in employment and collective bargaining agreements that will withstand challenge are crucial skills to add to your HR tool bag, whether yours is a small or a multi-national business or a non-profit institution.
On May 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its long-anticipated decision in Epic Systems Corporation v. Lewis (138 S.Ct. 1612) in which the majority confirmed that a company can require a disgruntled employee to abide by the arbitration agreements in employment contracts. A big deal? You bet, when the alternative is a class-action suit brought on behalf of all similarly situated employees, as with a wage & hour claim.
Throw in the possibility of a six-figure attorney’s fee, if the plaintiffs prevail and that little ol’ arbitration clause can save a company millions!
WHO WILL BENEFIT
Jim Castagnera holds an M.A. in Journalism from Kent State University, and a J.D. and Ph.D. (American Studies) from Case Western Reserve University. He practiced law for 36 years, before retiring in June 2019: 10 years as a labor, employment and intellectual-property attorney with Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr; 3 years as general counsel for Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates; 23 years as associate provost & legal counsel for academic affairs at Rider University.