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3 options for resolving employment disputes

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2024 | Employment Law For Employers |

Navigating employment disputes can be complex and challenging. Understanding the available resolution options is important.

There are three primary avenues for resolving employment conflicts: mediation, arbitration and litigation. Each approach offers distinct characteristics and outcomes. This allows disputing parties to choose the method that aligns with their needs and circumstances.


Mediation is a collaborative process. In it, a neutral third party, the mediator, facilitates discussions between disputing parties. The goal is to encourage open communication, identify common ground and work towards an agreeable resolution. Mediation is often less formal than other methods. It also provides a platform for employees and employers to express their concerns and explore solutions in a less adversarial environment. The voluntary nature of mediation allows parties to participate in shaping the outcome. This may help preserve relationships and foster a more positive work atmosphere.


Arbitration is a more structured alternative to mediation. It involves another neutral third party, the arbitrator, who reviews the evidence and makes a decision. This process resembles a simplified court proceeding, offering a more formal resolution without litigation. Arbitration can be a quicker and more cost-effective option. The outcome is legally binding, and the process allows parties to present their cases without the need for a full-scale courtroom trial.


Litigation is the most formal and traditional method of resolving employment disputes. It involves a court process where parties present their cases, and a judge or jury issues a final decision. While litigation can be time-consuming, it offers a structured legal framework for resolving complex disputes. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that American businesses spend about $1.2 million each year on litigation.

Understanding the options for resolving employment disputes empowers individuals and organizations to make informed decisions based on their specific needs and circumstances. It also helps create a more just and effective workplace environment.