Arbitration is a legal method of resolving New Jersey workplace conflicts that can be an alternative to taking a case to court. It can be a better way for you as an employee to handle your workplace dispute, but there are some drawbacks that you should be aware of.

Who gets the final say?

A potential drawback of arbitration is you have to abide by the arbitrator’s final ruling just as you would if the case was litigated in a courtroom. The arbitrator is an impartial third party that you and your employer choose to handle your conflict resolution. They provide a written copy of their final decision to ensure that both parties abide by the terms without any questions about the details.

Stating your case

Arbitration sessions take place in person. You may also bring in witnesses and present evidence to support your case. Arbitration may also include private sessions with the involved parties.

Requesting arbitration

If you and your employer decide to go through arbitration, you will need to submit a request to the New Jersey State Board of Mediation (NJSBM). You must include the contact information of all involved parties and outline the issue that you are arbitrating.

The pitfalls of arbitration

Although arbitration can present many advantages to traditional litigation, there can be some downsides as well. These include:

  • Arbitrators often have other occupations, which means that your case might be delayed if they have time conflicts.
  • Arbitration only works if all parties to the dispute respect the process and act in good faith.
  • While it is often thought of as a cost-saving alternative, arbitration can be – in certain situations – just as expensive as a courtroom trial, and in some cases even more so.

Unlike a trial, arbitration hearings are private. In the event that you prevail and are awarded damages by the arbitrator, you will generally need to go to court to have the judgment enforced.

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