When workplace conflicts arise, businesses need to find effective ways to address them. There are three common methods many people use to resolve employment disputes.
Each of these approaches offers distinct advantages and considerations that help in finding the best solution for a particular situation.
Mediation is a voluntary and informal process that involves a neutral third party, known as a mediator, who helps the disputing parties reach a mutually agreeable solution. In mediation, both parties have the opportunity to express their concerns, feelings and interests, with the mediator facilitating the communication. This process encourages open dialogue, which can lead to a quicker resolution, as it fosters understanding and cooperation between the involved parties.
Arbitration, like mediation, involves a neutral third party, but in this case, the arbitrator has the authority to make a final decision. The disputing parties present their cases, and the arbitrator issues a binding decision to which both parties must adhere. Arbitration typically takes less time than litigation, making it a faster option for resolving disputes.
The most formal and structured way to resolve employment disputes is through litigation. It involves taking the matter to court and having a judge or jury make a final decision. Litigation can be lengthy and expensive, with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reporting that American business owners spend about $1 million a year on litigation. A notable advantage of litigation is that it offers a robust legal framework that ensures due process and the protection of rights.
Choosing the appropriate method to resolve an employment dispute depends on various factors, including the nature of the conflict, the willingness of both parties to cooperate and the desired outcome.