As an experienced White Plains Employment Lawyer I am often asked about the positives and negatives of mediation vs. going to court. Many of our clients have heard the phrase alternative dispute resolution, and alternative dispute resolution takes many forms. The alternative is an alternative to going to court. The most popular forms are arbitration and mediation, and although people think those are the same things, they are completely different things. Arbitration is simply done by agreement, sometimes the employee doesn't realize he has entered into an arbitration agreement when he signs an employment agreement but many of them have arbitration agreements which require you to resolve a dispute by arbitration rather than going to court. Arbitration is more like a judicial forum in that there is one arbitrator, three arbitrators, or a panel of arbitrators but the arbitrators act as judges. They are there to hear evidence, take testimonies, look at documents, and render a decision. I’m not saying that the arbitrator won’t try and settle the case, but they are there to perform the function of deciding the case. The arbitrary form may be less expensive depending on the case, there may not be much discovery, i.e. deposition, change of documents although there will be some, there are few rules of evidence that can be beneficial depending on your point of view but it typically takes a shorter period of time to come to resolution. When an arbitrator or a panel decides a matter there is virtually no way to challenge it. Most arbitration provisions say that the arbitration decision is binding unless the arbitrator or the panel has exceeded their jurisdiction which is set out by agreement. In the case where that jurisdiction is exceeded there are provisions in the New York state civil practice and procedure law section 75 article 75 for challenging that but it almost never is successful.
As an experienced White Plains Employment Lawyer I have dealt with situations where an employee of a non-profit cooperation or a large cooperation resigns. It could be that a foundation is in a situation where there is new leadership, and that person is asked to resign so that people can bring in their own individuals, while the person may have an employment contract which speaks to severance and payment for a period of time. A dispute arises as to how much is really due. This happens fairly frequently because at the end of the day no organization wants to pay money for work that is not done. They just don’t want to do it even if they are contracted to do it and what we do is review the agreement to work with that employee and to negotiate a resolution with the employer.
As an experienced White Plains Employment Attorney I often have people coming to me with various forms of agreements some of which may contain severance clauses. Some of those severance clauses may have a notice provision requiring the employee to give a particular number of days or months prior to terminating the employment and sometimes the employee has been offered a wonderful job and wants to leave without that 60 days notice.
As an experienced Rockland County Employment Attorney, every so often an employee comes to me and he or she has an employment agreement that contains a provision for severance. That is not the usual situation and every so often even when an employment agreement contains a provision for severance the employer refuses to pay the severance.