Often arbitrators, judges, and attorneys debate on whether considering arbitration is a better choice or not. Well, judges absolutely love cases of arbitration because that means “one less case to worry about”. And who can blame them? They’re chronically overworked and they’ll do anything for some peace of mind. So, for judges specifically, arbitration is a way of decreasing the burden on the court.
On the other hand, arbitrators also showcase immense love for this procedure. Can you guess why? If you guessed it increases their chances of gaining principal, you are absolutely right. While some defense lawyers are also charmed by arbitration, if you are an employee you should consider what we are going to tell you before settling for arbitration.
Before we get into supporting our side of the story, you should learn what Arbitration actually means. Arbitration is mainly a way of resolving your legal issue(s) outside of court system. You simply hire a paid referee, in this case, an arbitrator, and this person judges your case. Another reason why arbitration is different than lawsuits is; the arbitrator gets paid by both the parties involved.
A judge will get his salary from the state instead. If the arbitrator’s decision sounds like a mistake to you, you are not able to appeal it. You’re simply stuck by it. In court, you get the chance to make an appeal.
When you are considering arbitration, you should know that you are not able to request any jury. A jury is restricted to court only. On the other hand, the arbitrator that you will hire does not need to be a lawyer. However, most of them are retired judges or lawyers. Arbitrators also able to set or change the rules other than the ones specified by the parties involved. Whereas a judge is bound to follow what is specified by the court law.
While the plus side here is that you get to pick the arbitrator while you cannot pick the judge, we believe that arbitration is a big NO!
So, when we consider the debate of whether an employee should seek arbitration or not, we simply think it’s a bad idea. And we have tons of reasons to back it up. Firstly, if you are considering arbitration, know that you will be breaking the bank after paying an arbitrator’s fee. An arbitrator fee can even increase to $60,000 and more. If you lose the case, you can say bye-bye to your hard-earned money.
Secondly, the arbitrator has the option of limiting you in the weirdest ways possible. This can prevent you from winning your case and proving your point. Say, you are an employee and you need to rely on a witness to give a very critical testimony about what had happened. If your arbitrator rules out that the plaintiff cannot present any witnesses, it can seriously hurt your case.
Thirdly, an arbitrator is mostly going to favor the employer than an employee. If you are wondering why the answer is quite simple. It’s economics. These big companies which are more likely to be sued again in the future make repetitive customers for arbitrators. If you are an employee, chances are that the arbitrator will not be seeing you again in the future.
The fourth reason is that arbitrator rewards are going to be smaller than what you can get from a jury in court. Arbitrators love dividing things in half. So say you are the party that is claiming $5,000 from your employer. On the other hand, your employer is offering $0, an arbitrator is much more likely to cut this in half and split the difference. So, what is the point of getting a high priced arbitrator then?
Lastly, arbitrators love to say “Hush! Hush!” and remain very confidential. This can be great for your employer’s case who is already hiding the dirty laundry. And since this is not a lawsuit, the lawyers and attorneys can’t reveal anything. During arbitration, the employers can threaten the employee to drop the case or negotiate in their favor.
In the end, choosing arbitration as an employee is a bad decision. The list of negatives already lowers the good side of choosing arbitration. So be wise and take them to court!