When employment disputes arise, what is the best way to resolve that dispute? The answer depends on many factors and a legal advisor who concentrates on employment law may be your best guide.
Prosecuting and defending a lawsuit is the harshest and most expensive method for resolving employment problems. Rarely do the persons on either side escape without emotional “blood” being shed, especially in the form of sleepless nights, increased blood pressure, anger, and resentment. Litigation is the modern substitute for war. For some disputes, litigation is the only option, especially when at least one party is totally unreasonable, wants an “all or nothing” solution, or does not care about the financial or emotional costs.
Arbitration is a process of presenting the entire case to a “judge-substitute,” the Arbitrator. Although held in a private location, and not in court, the Arbitrator assumes the same powers and authority of a Judge, and rules on the issues in the same fashion as does a court Judge. California, however, has one significant rule distinguishing between an Arbitrator and a Judge: the Arbitrator is NOT required to follow the law. Because of this rule, the results of an arbitration are always unpredictable. The root word of “arbitration” is “arbitrary.” Many employers use what are called: “pre-dispute, mandatory, arbitration agreements.” The courts in California have declared thousands of such pre-dispute non-commercial agreements to be illegal and “unconscionable.” Before either side agrees to pay the expenses for an arbitration, both employer and employee must evaluate whether the process is fair, legal, and cost-effective.
Mediation is a process of bringing the sides together, usually for one day or more, with a professional who specializes in resolving disputes. Mediation allows for confidential communications, a neutral evaluator who is not permitted to “judge” either side, and gives the parties 100% control over their respective destinies. If someone negotiating with the other side simply decides the compromise is too great, that person need only say “No” and the mediation comes to an end. No one is forced into any particular result in the mediation process.
Preventive Legal Counsel
One of the most effective ways for avoiding costly litigation and costly arbitration is to identify and prevent employment problems early on. Our firm provides the legal counsel necessary to resolve issues as soon as they arise, guide employees to pre-litigation solutions, and assist both parties with agreements that meet their respective needs. Preventing legal disputes from escalating also limits time and energy losses, and avoids vast amounts of funding that always occur with litigation.
To make an appointment for a consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 408.796.7551, or fill out the contact form with a brief description of your employment issue.