Employment Discrimination:

Most Private-Sector Employers Use Alternative Dispute Resolution

HEHS-95-150: Published: Jul 5, 1995. Publicly Released: Jul 5, 1995.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the: (1) extent to which private-sector employers use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) approaches in resolving discrimination complaints of employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements; and (2) fairness of private-sector employers' arbitration policies.

GAO found that: (1) in fiscal year 1994, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received over 90,000 discrimination complaints from employees; (2) ADR approaches include negotiation, fact finding, peer review, internal mediation, external mediation, and arbitration; (3) almost all employers with more than 100 employees use one or more ADR approaches to resolve discrimination complaints; (4) some employers' arbitration policies do not meet the fairness standards proposed by the Commission on the Future of Worker-Management Relations; (5) almost 40 percent of private-sector employers use a trained mediator from within the company to help resolve disputes, and only 10 percent of these employers use arbitration; (6) firms that have some workers covered by collective bargaining agreements are more likely to use arbitration; and (7) arbitration is usually the final step in a grievance policy, which includes other ADR approaches.

Dec 18, 2017

Dec 4, 2017

Nov 30, 2017

Sep 20, 2017

Apr 4, 2016

Feb 3, 2015

Jul 25, 2013

May 16, 2013

Aug 2, 2012

Sep 30, 2011

Looking for more? Browse all our products here