What are mandatory arbitration programs?

Author: Michael C. Jacobson, XpertHR Legal Editor

Mandatory arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution. In mandatory arbitration, parties are required to submit their dispute to an arbitrator or arbitration panel rather than file a claim in court. The arbitrator or panel will often make a final decision about liability and damages. Many employers use mandatory arbitration to reduce the costs associated with defending employment claims. In that regard, arbitration is a more efficient process than litigation in that it avoids lengthy discovery processes, motion practice, jury trials and appellate processes. Additionally, arbitrated claims are often decided on the merits, rather than on obscure procedural or evidentiary grounds.