To avoid costly, time-consuming litigation, many employers are settling disputes outside of the courtroom through the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
ADR offers both employers and employees a win-win situation by finding a common ground, then constructing a creative and collaborative solution.
Four commonly used ADR techniques are:
Mediation: A trained facilitator, known as a mediator, assists the disputing parties resolve their difference informally by helping them achieve a mutually acceptable agreement.
Arbitration: A neutral third party resolves a dispute after hearing arguments and reviewing evidence from both parties.
Conciliation: A neutral third party helps resolve disputes by improving communication, lowering tensions and identifying issues and potential solutions by shuttling information between the disputing parties.
Ombudsman strategy: An ombudsman investigates and expedites complaints, helping either of the parties settle a dispute or proposing changes to make the system more responsive to the needs of the complainant.
There are five key advantages to mediation.
Gordon Friedrich is vice president and corporate counsel of The Reserves Network.