Most employment contracts contain a specific clause about how a dispute should be resolved before resorting to litigation or any other judicial process.

Employees should be careful with these employment dispute resolution clauses before filing a lawsuit because even if they win, the higher courts can reverse the decision and require the case to go through the alternative dispute resolution procedure as specified in the contract.

Alternative resolution procedures or ADRs have become the preferred method of many companies in dealing with employment issues because of the many advantages it provides both the employee and the employer.

Some of the most popular advantages of ADRs are:

· Less cost – It is no secret that going through the judiciary system can be very expensive. ADRs present an alternate and more affordable solution to litigation.

· Less formal – ADRs are usually held in a relaxed manner compared to litigation. This lessens the high stress level that is usually caused by rigid and formal procedures, and provides more clarity of thought throughout the process.

· Faster resolution – As a result of its relaxed process, ADRs are generally concluded faster than litigation.

· Confidentiality - Unlike in court procedures where the judgment are usually made public, the parties involved in the ADR can choose to keep the process and the results to themselves.

· Sharing – It is easier to share documents between the two opposing parties that are sometimes not allowed in litigation.

· Power to choose 3rd party facilitator – The opposing parties can agree on the mediator or arbitrator unlike in litigation where the courts assign the judge.

Employment disputes are usually resolved through the following ADRs:

· Arbitration – This is an ADR that is facilitated by a 3rd party called the arbitrator. The process is somewhat similar to litigation where the arbitrator tries to hear the arguments of the opposing parties then comes up with a judgment or resolution.

Like in litigation there is a winner and a loser in this process.

Arbitration resolutions can either be binding or non-binding. If the process is binding, the losing party will have to go through the judicial process to appeal the decision. If not, the losing party may choose not to accept the resolution.

· Mediation – Like arbitration, this ADR is facilitated by a third party called a mediator. However, the process is much different as the mediator is not allowed to impose a resolution to the opposing parties.

Under mediation, the opposing parties are encouraged to come up with a resolution that is acceptable to both by facilitating a process of proposals and counter proposals.

Although a mediator is not allowed to impose a resolution, he can make suggestions that can be accepted or denied by the parties.

Even if it is not litigation, ADR is still equally important especially if the resolution is binding to the parties.

You should still hire the services of an employment attorney to advocate for your rights during the process.