As American businesses slowly emerge from the worst downturn since the Great Depression, employers should steer clear of roadblocks that can undermine their progress.
One such roadblock is employment litigation. Growing numbers of employers are avoiding this roadblock by implementing policies that substitute an arbitration hearing for a courtroom trial.
Litigation Takes Its Toll
It was only in recent decades that large numbers of employment disputes began migrating to courtrooms. The era of employment litigation kicked off with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Discrimination lawsuits were decided without a jury until 1991, when a change in the law allowed plaintiffs to seek jury trials. This resulted in an explosion of employment cases. Plaintiffs' lawyers preferred trying cases before a jury rather than a judge, based on the belief (let's face it – the reality) that it's easier to win a jury's sympathy for a plaintiff-employee than for a large corporate employer.
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