Setting Up a Mandatory Arbitration System
This semester I have the distinct pleasure of teaching a writing seminar on advanced labor and employment issues to a small group of students. As in past semesters, I hope to provide useful information from my class to practitioners via this blog. We are using Eugene Volokh's Academic Legal Writing as our text book. We are also reading selected articles.
Last week, one of the articles that we read was Theodore J. St. Antoine's, Mandatory Arbitration: Why It's Better Than It Looks, 41 U. Mich. J.L. Reform 783 (2008). If you represent employers and are setting up a mandatory arbitration system for employment claims, the latter half of the article contains a useful discussion of precautions an employer can take to assure the system will withstand legal challenge. While St. Antoine does not endorse a one-size-fits-all approach, he suggests using a "neutral designating agency," "neutral arbitrators," providing "for more than minimal discovery," requiring "a written award" and all relief "that would otherwise be available in court," using the applicable statute's statute of limitations, and imposing only a "modest ‘tribunal fee.'" For those interested in the precise state of the law, the article contains more extensive discussion of the governing legal authority.