The Sloan Law Firm PLLC

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A Forward-Thinking Firm

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Arbitration v. litigation: why choose one over the other?

by | Dec 21, 2020 | Alternative Dispute Resolution

Where there are contracts, there are inevitably disputes. Disputes can arise on the terms of the contract during initial negotiations, on a breach of contract or on how to terminate the contract. Employment law is no different in this regard. However, employment contracts often include an arbitration clause in an attempt to avoid litigation related to disputes.

Why choose arbitration over litigation?

Many Florida residents find litigation time consuming and costly. Additionally, it can create unwanted publicity. Arbitration is an alternative way to resolve disputes. It is less time consuming and complicated than litigation. Though arbitration is a structured process and has rules of procedure, the rules are not as tedious as those in litigation. Arbitration decisions are often more certain, as the ability to appeal them is limited. The decisions are not normally public.

When do employees consent to arbitration?

Arbitration is an option only if both parties agree to it or if the employment contract contains a provision regarding it. One party sends its written complaint to the other party, and the other party responds to it. A neutral arbitrator is responsible for making the decision.

Though many believe arbitration clauses included in employment contracts prevent an employee from freely consenting to arbitration, courts have upheld them time and time again. As a result, employers and employees alike should understand what they are agreeing to and how to advocate for their rights in front of an arbitral tribunal. While alternative dispute resolution is a great idea in theory, an experienced attorney may be able to help parties enforce their rights in practice.