The Trend: Corporate Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs
Various alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques and the reasons for their increased adoption at the workplace have been discussed. What follows are some examples of what some corporations are doing, as well as a guide with suggested clauses to enable an organization to initiate an ADR program of its own. There is no single dispute resolution system appropriate for every organization and therefore creativity and experimentation are encouraged. This subject is so dynamic that many new developments and inventive approaches are sure to surface in the future.
Many corporations presently use some type of dispute resolution procedure. They include corporate open door policies, nonbinding employee grievance procedures, use of a corporate ombudsman, binding or nonbinding peer review of employee grievances, and similar policies that seek to resolve disputes at the workplace.
For example, Federal Express's Guaranteed Fair Treatment Procedure provides a system for employees to seek to resolve grievances through internal company appeal. Aetna Casualty and Life has a dispute resolution process that encourages the use of mediation prior to litigation. AT&T and United Airlines also use mediation programs. AT&T's mediation program is incorporated into the AT&T-Communication Workers of America contractual grievance procedure. 1 Rockwell International has an arbitration program for its top management where both the employee and company agree to arbitrate all employment-related disputes. 2 Bechtel will