Is Litigation Necessary? Alternatives for Employment Dispute Resolution

Using the law to resolve disputing claims is a worldwide practice, but it’s even more common in the U.S. Some common lawsuits are against businesses, which have become attractive considering how much power and protection they can afford employees and business partners. Some employment lawsuits are based on the following:

  • Salary or wage law violations
  • Employment discrimination and wrongful termination
  • Breach of contract

Below are some alternatives you should consider if you want to avoid litigation altogether (or in case you get cold feet before trial):

1. Mediation

Assuming you have already done direct negotiations in the workplace (which is really the simplest and quickest way of settling issues) but to no avail, you may want to consider employment mediation services. A mediator, who is usually a practicing lawyer or a former judge, can help you and the opposing party see the issue at hand as it is, and/or explain the issue from the perspective of the opposing party. Sometimes, mediation is all that’s needed to make parties realize that the problem is resolvable by simply adjusting expectations or work guidelines.

While a mediator cannot impose a settlement, their knowledge of legal issues will help you and the opposing party understand and grasp the complexity of your problem and the strength of your possible case should you decide to still take further action.

2. Arbitration


If you’re considering a lesser-priced alternative to full-blown litigation, this might be the choice for you. Arbitration offers the same benefits as litigation, but with less formality. Arbitrators can determine a legally binding settlement, which is usually the key to resolving strong workplace disputes.

Just like court trials, arbitration does not require the parties to negotiate the outcome of the matter; the arbitrator decides on the final result. Binding arbitration awards are written by the local court and are therefore enforceable. Otherwise, opinions rendered in a non-binding arbitration is only advisory.

If there is no problem or fault in the arbitration process, the parties may end up with a settlement they’re happy with. Should you find yourself unhappy with the reward, you may reject the settlement and still proceed to litigation.

3. Collaboration

Collaborative law is still somewhat foreign to businesses, practically because conflicting claims are usually aired out once a party has chosen to no longer associate with another party (such as after employee resignation or termination). However, collaboration’s principle of building and maintaining cordial relationships for both parties is what makes it common in finding resolutions for family conflict.

In essence, the conflicting parties and their lawyers work together to reach an agreement. Perhaps this can be considered if one party chooses to continue a working relationship with the other, as in the case of business partners.

Aside from (and possibly before) litigation, there are other options you can take to reach a settlement. when making a decision, consider other matters such as cost savings, protecting confidential information. and preserving relationships. Just keep in mind that whatever action you take, make sure you get in touch with a lawyer you can trust.

About the Author

Scroll to Top