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Five Positives About ADR

May 4, 1999
Related Topics: Labor Relations, Featured Article
Here are five reasons Alternative Dispute Resolution can be a good way to resolve workplace disputes:
  • An effective, credible ADR policy builds communication with employees which, in turn, increases trust and commitment between management and the front lines.

  • An effective system brings real problems to the surface. Also, it encourages supervisors to communicate with each other in order to implement policy consistently. Some form of institutional oversight is frequently necessary to prevent haphazard application of work rules.

  • ADR also provides the employer with a better opportunity to "control" the dispute-resolution process by introducing a systematic approach, i.e. insuring the participation of certain individuals or departments in finding a solution.

  • Litigation can drag on for years. Arbitration, mediation and/or peer review provide a speedier method of resolving claims.

  • Arbitration, mediation and peer review also serve to decrease litigation and legal fees for both parties. This is particularly important because plaintiffs' attorneys frequently work on a contingency fee basis and, as a result, push for monetary settlements. This can ultimately drive the litigation and prevent creative, non-monetary solutions (out-placement services, retraining in a new job). By keeping attorneys out of the picture completely, or at least minimizing their influence, ADR can prevent fees from obscuring the parties' real goals.

Source:Brown & Bain, P.A., Phoenix, AZ, April 13,

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