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Four Negatives About ADR

May 14, 1999
Related Topics: Labor Relations, Featured Article
There's a bit of a downside when it comes to Alternative Dispute Resolution. Here's what to watch for if you're considering it:

  • Integrating an effective system requires the commitment of internal resources. Training and orientation will be necessary for employees and administrators who lack experience in the system that you ultimately choose.
  • Pre-litigation proceedings build a litigation record. To address this problem, it's best to get counsel involved, but this reduces the savings on legal fees.
  • Arbitration and peer review share a common element: management might lose. Difficult employees may be put back to work and/or awarded back pay. This can have the effect of undermining the authority and credibility of you or your supervisors.
  • To an extent, you lose "control" of the outcome at the first level, i.e. you have to live with results that differ from decisions you would have made. However, litigation carries the same risk, usually at a much higher price.

Source: Brown & Bain, P.A., Phoenix, AZ, April 13, 1999.

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