Workplace Arbitration in the Current Economic Crisis
Lipsky, David B.
[Excerpt] In the midst of our economic crisis, arbitrators are facing unprecedented challenges. As the financial implosion has spread from Wall Street to Main Street, we are hearing cases that require us to decide issues the parties never anticipated when their arbitration programs were established. Take labor-management arbitration as an example. Unlike in the past, when labor arbitrators sometimes had to decide whether a layoff complied with the collective bargaining agreement, today they are addressing the repercussions of mass layoffs resulting from plant shutdowns. Similarly, in previous years, labor arbitrators frequently decided cases dealing with alleged infractions of Title VII and other anti-discrimination statutes. The wave of plant closings over the last year or so has widened the range of statutory claims arbitrators must consider. For example, recently some arbitrators have had to decide cases involving claims by laid-off employees that their employer did not give them sufficient advance notice under the WARN Act.
arbitration; economic crisis; employment disputes
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