THE FAIRNESS ISSUE: DUE PROCESS PROTOCOL

Federal and state laws, as well as the court decisions applying those statutes, have redefined responsible corporate practices and employee relations. Employers and employees face occasional workplace disputes involving alleged wrongful termination, sexual harassment or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age and disability.

Through National Arbitration and Mediation, Inc. (NAM), employers and their employees may access alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practices to promptly and effectively resolve workplace disputes.

NAM is an experienced and highly regarded provider of employment ADR services. With a national panel of employment experts, NAM offers litigants a fair and expeditious way to resolve employment-related disputes. NAM's policy on employment ADR is guided by existing laws as well as its obligation to act in an impartial manner. In the interest of providing an appropriate and pristine forum for the resolution of employment disputes, the NAM employment program follows the Due Process Protocol for Mediation and Arbitration of Statutory Disputes Arising Out of the Employment Relationship ("Due Process Protocol").

The Due Process Protocol

The Due Process Protocol was developed in 1995 by a special task force composed of individuals representing management, labor, employment, civil rights organizations, private administrative agencies and government. The Due Process Protocol, which is endorsed by NAM, seeks to ensure fairness and equity in the private resolution of workplace disputes. It prescribes safeguards and recommendations as to the manner and methodology of conducting an employment dispute using ADR. The task force concluded that this methodology should be encouraged in order to provide expeditious, accessible, inexpensive and fair private enforcement of statutory employment disputes with the hope that ADR will reduce delays caused by the huge backlog of cases pending before administrative agencies and the courts.

The Due Process Protocol has been endorsed by organizations representing a broad range of constituencies. They include NAM, the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Section, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the National Academy of Arbitrators, and the National Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution. The National Employment Lawyers Association has endorsed the substantive provisions of the Due Process Protocol.

It has been incorporated into the Report of the United States Secretary of Labor's Task Force in Excellence in State and Local Government and cited with approval in numerous court opinions.


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