Law Office of David Miklas, P.A.

Labor & Employment law - Employers only


Arbitration is one way for companies in Florida to resolve labor and employment disputes. But arbitrations can be complicated, and they are not always cheaper than litigation in courts.

Gathering evidence to present to an arbitrator is an essential part of the arbitration process. Mr. Miklas knows how to carefully research arbitration cases and write arbitration hearing briefs.  The Law Office of David Miklas, P.A. knows what documents to include in evidence for an arbitration and how to present this information to an arbitrator in a clear, compelling manner.

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution. Arbitration is the private, judicial determination of a dispute, by an independent third party. An arbitration hearing may involve the use of an individual arbitrator or a tribunal.  Arbitration is an alternative to court action (litigation), and generally, just as final and binding (unlike mediation, negotiation and conciliation which are non-binding).

Two types of arbitration:

Rights Arbitration (a.k.a. Grievance Arbitration) deals with the allegation that an existing collective bargaining agreement (CBA) has been violated or misinterpreted.  Typical arbitration awards deal with a complaint that a specific item in collective bargaining agreement has been violated.

Interest Arbitration (a.k.a. Contract Arbitration) typically involves adjudication on the terms and conditions of employment to be contained in a resulting collective bargaining agreement. For example, collective bargaining in a new collective bargaining agreement may break down into a deadlock. The contractual matters still in dispute between the parties would be put to an interest arbitrator or tribunal for a ruling and determination, which would then form the relevant provisions of the collective agreement between the two parties.

How Does Arbitration Differ from Mediation?

Mediation in Florida is a voluntary form of alterna­tive dispute resolution. A Florida mediator, like an arbitrator, is typically an attorney with specialized knowledge in the area of law at issue. Many Florida mediators are also Florida arbitrators. However, mediations generally do not involve testimony from witnesses.

A Florida mediator solicits written positions from the parties ahead of the mediation and then meets with the parties to fill in any blanks. Once the mediator under­stands the key facts and law, s/he attempts to get the par­ties to agree on a monetary amount (or other remedies) that will conclusively resolve the matter. However, Florida arbitra­tion involves a binding decision from the arbi­trator.  A mediator has no power to force the parties to enter into a settlement.

In mediation, if the parties do not reach agreement, there is no settlement, and the case continues. In arbitration, once the arbitrator makes a decision, it is generally final and binding because arbitration awards can be appealed only on very narrow grounds—e.g., if there was some kind of fraud underlying the arbitrator’s decision or an undisclosed bias that may have affected the decision.

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