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The Ascendancy of Employment Arbitrators in US Employment Relations: A New Actor in the American System?


  • Ronald L. Seeber and David B. Lipsky are at Cornell University.


In this paper, we survey the underpinnings of the trend towards employment arbitration in the United States, and its implications for the broader industrial relations system. Specifically, we address the question of whether or not employment arbitrators have been substituted for collective bargaining by the government to an extent that warrants their inclusion as an actor in the industrial relations system. We review developments in workplace dispute resolution in the United States, the literature that attempts to explain these developments and posit an assessment of the stability of employment arbitration, and employment arbitrators, as a central feature of the US industrial relations system.