The Relationship between Employment Arbitration and Workplace Dispute Resolution Procedures
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The Supreme Court's decision in Gilmer v. Interstate/Johnson Lane Corp. set in motion one of the most dramatic shifts in the governance of employment relations of recent times. Whereas employment arbitration procedures were present in a mere handful of workplaces at the beginning of the 1990s, they had expanded to as many as ten percent of companies in a 1995 GAO study and sixteen percent of establishments in a survey I conducted in 1998 that I will describe in more detail later in this article. Assuming these trends are continuing, perhaps as many as twenty percent or more of employers may now have adopted employment arbitration procedures. Although still covering a minority of employees, employment arbitration procedures have now clearly become a major component of the governance structure of employment relations. Indeed, by way of comparison, union members now represent only 13.9 percent of all employees, making employment arbitration arguably a more widespread feature of the contemporary workplace than unions and collective bargaining.
dispute resolution; employment arbitration; employment relations; litigation
Required Publisher Statement: © Ohio State University. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. Final version published as: Colvin, A. J. S. (2001). The relationship between employment arbitration and workplace dispute resolution procedures. Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, 16(3), 643-668.