Arbitration and the Touchy Issue of Sexual Harrassment

Article excerpt

Arbitrating Sex Discrimination Grievances.

By Vern E. Hauck. Westport, Conn.: Quorum Books, 1999.

Hardcover. 208 pp. $59.95.

Vern E. Hauck has a knack for tackling touchy issues in arbitration. In 1997 he wrote a comprehensive guide for handling the controversial issue of employment discrimination in a book entitled Arbitrating Race, Religion, and National Origin Discrimination Grievances.

Two years later, Hauck, a professional labor arbitrator and a former professor of industrial relations at the University of Alaska, has done it again. This time he has written an authoritative book about an equally controversial and important issue-arbitration of sexual discrimination grievances.

Just like Hauck's 1997 book, his latest book contains comprehensive background information and provides an objective and practical guide for understanding how arbitrators have decided-and are likely to decide-sexual harassment grievances. The book offers an analysis of select sex discrimination awards dealing with matters such as recruitment, hiring, lay off, and discharge.

In the first chapter of the book, which is devoted to historical, legal, and arbitral background of sexual discrimination grievances, the author writes about avoiding litigation and/or arbitration of this type of dispute. "It is simplistic, but in general, litigation and/or arbitration is avoided by taking preventive action before employment discrimination occurs," Hauck writes. He goes on to discuss the term that has grown ubiquitous to job applicants today: affirmative action. …