Mandatory Employment Arbitration

Alexander J.S. Colvin, Mark D. Gough

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article offers a comprehensive overview of the academic literature concerning mandatory employment arbitration and existing empirical evidence. Proponents of mandatory employment arbitration contend mandatory arbitration provides access to justice to those excluded from the traditional civil litigation system. Conversely, opponents of mandatory employment arbitration assert that it is a coercive system that disproportionately benefits employers and disadvantages employees. Although these entrenched perceptions of mandatory employment arbitration are not new, an expanding body of recent empirical research provides fresh insights. The empirical literature reveals lower employee success rates and financial awards, longer case resolution times, and evidence of a repeat player effect in arbitration relative to civil litigation and, as a whole, tends to support arguments made by opponents of the forum. This article reviews the literature on the major debates surrounding employment arbitration and corresponding empirical evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-144
Number of pages14
JournalAnnual Review of Law and Social Science
StatePublished - Oct 5 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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