Most employers have seen the forecasts.  The waves of employees let go in the COVID crisis will file a surge of employment claims.  Worse, plaintiffs' lawyers will scrutinize the many changes required by the pandemic and assert class actions and collective actions in response to practices or policies that are not on rock-solid legal ground. 

To try to reduce the impact of the storm, some employers are considering arbitration agreements.

To proponents, employment arbitration is a way to resolve workplace disagreements efficiently on their individual merits -- and to prevent plaintiffs' lawyers from using class and collective actions to force employers to settle dubious claims.  But some employers question whether arbitration agreements are consistent with their company culture, can be reliably enforced and can actually deliver the efficiency they promise. 

This series of posts is intended to help employers decide whether to require workplace disputes to be resolved through arbitration.  Of course, that decision may depend on employer-specific factors, such as industry, geographic footprint, brand-image, organizational history, business model or government contractor status.   But in the weeks ahead, we will explore the most common and important considerations, including:

  • Does Arbitration Avoid Class Actions?
  • Is Arbitration Fair and Consistent With Company Culture?
  • Does Arbitration Reduce Legal Costs?
  • What About "Mass Arbitration"?
  • Can Companies Win Summary Judgment At Arbitration?
  • Is Arbitration Confidential?
  • Is Arbitration Hard to Implement?

We hope that our series will help employers decide, as they brace for a wave of employee claims: Is Arbitration (at least part of) the Answer?

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.