As an employer, it’s important to protect your business interests while also ensuring fair treatment of your employees. One tool that many employers use to balance these goals is an arbitration agreement. This type of agreement is meant to provide a private, efficient, and cost-effective way to resolve disputes with employees. However, while arbitration agreements may seem like a good idea on the surface, there are several cons that employers should consider before implementing such agreements.
1. Reduced Control over the Process
One of the biggest cons of arbitration agreements for employers is that they may reduce control over the dispute resolution process. In a traditional court setting, employers have more control over the process and can select the judge they want to hear their case. In arbitration, the employer may have less control over the selection of the arbitrator(s) and may not be able to influence how the process unfolds. This can result in less predictable outcomes and less satisfaction with the process and outcome.
2. Limited Legal Remedy Options
Another con of arbitration agreements for employers is that they may limit the legal remedies available to them and their employees. For example, an arbitration agreement may prohibit class action lawsuits, which can be a significant hurdle for employees seeking to bring a case against their employer. Additionally, while arbitration can be less expensive than litigation, it generally results in less damages being awarded than would be in a traditional court setting.
3. Public Perception
Arbitration agreements have become increasingly controversial in recent years, leading to negative public perception towards businesses that use them. This can have a negative impact on a company’s reputation, particularly among employees and potential job candidates. In certain industries, the use of an arbitration agreement can be seen as a sign that the company does not prioritize employee rights and fair treatment.
4. Potential for Bias
Another major con of arbitration agreements for employers is the potential for bias in the process. Since arbitrators are hired by the employer, there is a risk that they will be biased towards the company when hearing disputes. This can lead to outcomes that are perceived as unfair or unjust, particularly if the employee feels that their rights were not protected during the arbitration process.
5. Limited Ability to Appeal
Finally, another con of arbitration agreements is the limited ability to appeal. Unlike a court judgment, which can be appealed to a higher court, the decision of an arbitrator is generally final and binding. This can be problematic if there is a significant issue with the outcome or if new evidence becomes available after the arbitration has concluded.
Overall, while arbitration agreements can be an effective tool for resolving disputes with employees, it’s important for employers to carefully consider the cons and weigh them against the pros before implementing such agreements. By being aware of the potential pitfalls, employers can make an informed decision that balances the needs of the business with the needs of employees.