Alternate Dispute Resolution ADR
What does Alternate Dispute Resolution ADR mean?
Alternative dispute resolution is a legal process to settle disputes. Employment disputes related to the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act have steadily been rising over the last several decades, resulting in increased litigation costs for employers and employees.
In fact, experts within the employment field argue that we are facing an employment litigation crisis with the number of federal lawsuits related to employment grievances ballooning 400 percent in the last two decades.
Costs for litigation have also sky-rocketed. Costs include legal fees paid to attorneys and employer costs of creating defensive personnel practices to limit their risk. All of the additional costs reduce the amount of funds available to provide wage and benefits to workers.
Problems with litigation
Opponents of litigation argue that filing a legal suit against an employer is often stressful and unsatisfying. It can take years for an employee to see their day in court. Civil claims are often delayed so courts can deal with federal crimes.
With this in mind, there has been a significant push for companies to resolve disputes for employment claims brought under federal employment laws through alternative dispute resolution "where appropriate and to the extent authorized by the law."
Alternative dispute resolution methods
Alternative dispute resolution or ADR is a broad term for a variety of resolution methods. It can include negotiations, mediation, or arbitration. Each process has benefits and disadvantages. Mediation and negotiations is a voluntarily process where both parties can voluntarily agree to the solution. Arbitration, however, produces a binding decision for the case.
Benefits of alternative dispute resolution
Not only does alternative dispute resolution offer a simpler and faster resolution to employment disputes, it also allows affordable and equal access to a range of remedies that could be as satisfying as litigation. The employee retains their right to legal representation but they receive sufficient judicial review of the legal issues in question which are consistent with the current governing employment laws.