The most common mechanism for solving an employment claim is litigation.  For some claims (such as discrimination claims), an employee first has to file a charge of discrimination before the employee can sue.  For other claims, an employee may go straight to court.


Many companies now require employees to sign an arbitration agreement requiring employment-related claims to be pursued in a private arbitration instead of state or federal court.

Generally, the arbitration will be administered by a private company such as the American Arbitration Association or JAMS. Those companies’ rules govern the arbitration process and provide due process protocols to ensure that the arbitration is fair to the employee. The arbitrators often are lawyers or retired judges with knowledge of employment law.

Arbitration is supposed to be faster and cheaper than going to court. But that might not always be the case. When a case is arbitrated, the private arbitrator will be the final decisionmaker in your case. Usually there is no appeal from the arbitrator’s decision. This is one important difference between suing in court and having to pursue your claim in arbitration.

Moving Forward

If you need help with arbitrating or litigating an employment-related claim, contact us by clicking Tell Us About Your Problem and filling out the questionnaire.