The term arbitration refers to a process in which a dispute is resolved by an impartial third party, and whose decision is binding to all parties. Arbitration is a mechanism often used to settle disputes between a company's management team and its labor unions.
Arbitration is a process that allows two parties to settle a legal dispute without seeking the help of the U.S. courts system. In this proceeding, each party will present their evidence to an impartial adjudicator, who is responsible for rendering a decision that all parties agree is both final and binding.
Arbitration is oftentimes used when a company's management team and bargaining unit fail to come to agreement after conducting a series of local, then centralized, dispute resolution "steps." These two parties will then seek the help of an arbitrator to settle their dispute. The exact process will be documented in a collective bargaining unit agreement or contract.
The arbitrator can be a single individual or a group of individuals (arbitral tribunal), depending on the intricacy of the matter. This process offers both parties the ability to quickly come to a final legal outcome without the expense or complexity of a case litigated in a courtroom.