Labor Arbitration

Labor-management arbitrations usually arise under the grievance and arbitration procedures of collective bargaining agreements between employers and unions representing defined units of employees. The arbitration agreement will specify the issues subject to arbitration and the procedures for designating the arbitrator and for conducting the arbitration. The arbitrator will decide disputed issues of fact, determine disputed contract issues, and apply the contract to the facts to produce a decision on the questions submitted to his or her arbitral jurisdiction that will be subject to enforcement, modification, or vacatur in accordance with applicable law. The parties to labor-management arbitrations are the employer and the union, which represents the interests of either an individual grievant, groups of similarly situated grievants, or an entire bargaining unit. Covered issues usually involve interpretation and application of existing collective bargaining agreement terms, which can incorporate statutory issues as well. Occasionally labor-management parties at impasse in negotiating terms of new or successor collective bargaining agreements will submit determination of those terms to arbitral determination, a process called interest arbitration. Interest arbitrations most often occur in public sector essential services pursuant to statutory schemes, but private sector parties can use this process as well by voluntary agreement. Arbitration agreements often specify the rules of a particular organization or agency like the American Arbitration Association or Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to govern arbitrator selection, but some designate named individuals or rotating panels of named individuals.

If you are involved in a labor-management dispute subject to arbitration, consider John Sands.  He is an experienced labor-management arbitrator who, early in his career before becoming an arbitrator, represented both labor and management clients.  For more information, contact John at 973-226-6620 or by email at