Alternative dispute resolution (ADR), is an umbrella term used for methods to resolve disputes internal to the organization and outside the court system. Many organizations use one or all of the ADR techniques, with the techniques continuing to grow in popularity. Union and nonunion organizations use ADR techniques to resolve disputes, large and small. Dispute resolution is a necessity for any organization, resolution can impact organizational culture, engagement and turnover rates. The techniques defined below can be used to resolve disputes outside of the workforce as well, we have mediation services in our communities that assist families, neighbors, etc. resolve disputes through proactive channels of communication.
The 5 Definitions of Alternative Dispute Resolution:
- “Arbitration: an ad judicatory process in which a neutral third party imposes a final, binding decision to resolve a dispute.
- Mediation: an informal process in which a neutral third party assists opposing parties to reach a voluntary, negotiated, non-binding resolution of a dispute; may be conducted internally or externally.
- Ombudsman: a neutral third party who is designated to confidentially investigate and propose settlement of complaints brought by employees; may be an insider or outsider.
- Open-door policy: a process in which employees are encouraged to discuss problems with their immediate supervisors or others in the chain of command.
- Peer review an internal process in which a panel of employees works together to resolve employment complaints.”[i]
Arbitrators, mediators and ombudsman are trained in dispute resolution techniques. They know how to fact-find, draft agreements and issues decisions. An open-door policy is an easy way to resolve disputes. We listen to the issue (not listen to respond) and address any concerns. Peer review is another process that can be implemented, this also needs to be managed proactively to ensure it’s legal. All of the ADR techniques work, the effectiveness will vary by organization. Select a process that works for your organization and be consistent with dispute resolution.
New York State Paid Family Leave Update:
Recent changes to NYS PFL confirmed that employers do not need to cap the weekly employee payroll deduction for PFL at .126% of the NYS Average Weekly Wage ($1.65 per week in 2018). Employers can deduct .126% of an employee’s weekly wage until the employee hits the annual cap of $85.56, which is .126% of the annualized weekly wage. This is a significant change, which better positions employers to collect the full PFL premium from each employee.
Work with your payroll companies and NYS PFL providers to ensure the calculations are accurate and deducted under current legislation. If you are confused, seek guidance. Like many laws, we continue to see changes to NYS Paid Family Leave.
– Matthew Burr, HR Consultant
[i] American Arbitration Association, U.S. EEOC & SHRM Magazine