Generally speaking, mediation is a voluntary negotiation between two parties that is facilitated by a neutral third party – a mediator. Arbitration is a process where two parties agree to resolve their differences through a type of trial before a neutral third party – an arbitrator – who performs many of the functions of a judge and jury in a court. These two forms of “alternative dispute resolution” play an important role in many aspects of employment law, and McMahon Berger’s attorneys have unparalleled experience in both forms of dispute resolution.
Both mediation and arbitration offer a means to resolve legal matters without the traditional expense of a lawsuit in a state or federal court. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission and most state discrimination enforcement agencies (Missouri Commission on Human Rights, Illinois Human Rights Commission, etc..) offer and encourage resolution of race, age, sex, disability, and other discrimination charges through mediation. Some state and many federal courts routinely order parties to mediate claims before permitting the case to proceed to trial. Our attorneys understand both the opportunity and cost of mediating a broad range of employment claims, and can advise clients as to their options.
For more than a generation, McMahon Berger has been advising clients on arbitration-related issues involving the Federal Arbitration Act and state arbitration laws before both state and federal courts, as well as administrative agencies such as the National Labor Relations Board. Our services include advising clients on whether to include an arbitration clause in employment agreements, as well drafting such agreements for clients. [Please see the “Arbitration Agreements” page for more information]
Mediation is a valuable option to explore at the beginning of an employment dispute, but a thorough evaluation of the claim at issue is advisable before deciding whether mediation is the best option for resolving a claim. McMahon Berger’s years of mediation experience has long produced exceptional results for employers.
The same is true of the Firm’s experience in arbitration. Arbitration has been a common fixture in collective bargaining agreements between employers and labor unions, but it has recently grown in use by employers without a union-represented workforce because of its potential to reduce defense litigation costs. McMahon Berger’s attorneys daily handle arbitration matters for employers with and without organized work-forces across the United States. Our understanding of the arbitration process permits our clients to realize the full potential of arbitrating employment matters.