Labor Arbitration Rules

Our Rules adhere to the arbitration industry’s best practices.

  1. Application of Rules
    The parties must mutually agree to use The Labor Relations Connection to administer their grievance arbitration, fact-finding and/or interest arbitration cases. Parties may do so either during the collective bargaining process or by memorandum of agreement. The parties may, by written agreement, amend the procedures outlined in the labor arbitration rules.
  2. Labor Arbitrators
    The Labor Relations Connection offers the same arbitrators available to parties through all other agencies.
  3. Electronic Submissions
    Filings, submissions and/or Awards may be transmitted electronically or by traditional means.
  4. Filing for Arbitration
    Arbitration can be initiated by either party by a) giving written notice to the other party of its filing a Demand for Arbitration, which includes information regarding the nature of the dispute, and b) by submitting a copy of the Demand notice to The Labor Relations Connection. After the Arbitrator is appointed, the grievance cannot be amended in any way without mutual consent of the other party and the Arbitrator.
  5. Answer
    An Answer, if desired, may be filed with The Labor Relations Connection within 15 calendar days, and will be referred to the appointed Arbitrator. The Labor Relations Connection does not decide arbitrability challenges or the merits of any dispute.
  6. Appointing an Arbitrator
    The parties have an option of appointing an Arbitrator from a pre-existing agreed upon panel, from a general panel/one list procedure, a two-list administrative appointment procedure, or on an ad hoc basis, as follows:

    • A general panel is a Panel of Arbitrators created by the parties, with or without the assistance of The Labor Relations Connection. This panel must be created in advance of filing a Demand for Arbitration. The general panel will consist of the names of arbitrators the parties find mutually acceptable, and would like to see on their lists for selecting an arbitrator. Upon receipt of a demand for arbitration, a list of twelve names is offered to the parties from this general panel. The parties may strike up to four names off the list and rank in order of preference those names remaining. The arbitrator with the lowest combined number is appointed to hear the grievance. Using this method, an arbitrator is selected from the one list offered to the parties.
    • A two-list Administrative Appointment procedure consists of a first list of twelve names of arbitrators chosen by The Labor Relations Connection and submitted simultaneously to the parties for ranking their preferences. The parties may strike from this first list, the names of any arbitrators considered unacceptable. If no match is made from the first list, a second list of nine names is submitted to the parties for ranking. If no match is made from the second list of arbitrators, The Labor Relations Connection will offer an Administrative Appointment consisting of three arbitrators not previously found on the first two lists.
    • The parties are given twenty-four (24) hours to rank the three names in the Administrative Appointment, in order of preference. The parties may release previously unacceptable names from the first two lists at any time prior to the appointment of an Arbitrator through the Administrative Appointment procedure, in an attempt to make a mutual selection.
    • In each of the above options, the parties are given seven (7) days from receipt of the mailing to submit their list selections to The Labor Relations Connection with the exception of an Administrative Appointment. If a party does not return the list or notify of a delay within the time specified, all persons named on the list will be deemed acceptable.
    • The parties may by mutual agreement, select an Arbitrator without the assistance of The Labor Relations Connection. If an Arbitrator is selected by the parties in this manner, The Labor Relations Connection will fulfill all administrative responsibilities from this point forward.
    • If the parties currently use a process different from those listed above and wish to maintain that process, The Labor Relations Connection will follow that method.
  7. Notice to Arbitrator of Appointment
    Upon agreement of an Arbitrator, The Labor Relations Connection will contact the Arbitrator and obtain dates to offer the parties for scheduling the hearing(s).
  8. Contact with Arbitrator
    The Labor Relations Connection functions as a liaison and facilitator between the parties and the Arbitrator. It is essential that there be no direct communication by the parties to the Arbitrator on substantive matters. Any necessary communication to the Arbitrator shall be conveyed through the Labor Relations Connection.
  9. Waiver of Oaths
    Acceptance of The Labor Relations Connection Rules constitutes an explicit written waiver of oaths by the Arbitrator, unless such oath is required by state law.
  10. Disclosure and Disqualification Procedure
    Any Arbitrator selected by the parties shall be subject to disqualification if he/she has any financial or personal interest in the result of the arbitration. The Arbitrator must immediately disclose to The Labor Relations Connection, any situation likely to affect impartiality, including any bias. Upon notification from the Arbitrator or any other individual, the parties will be contacted with this information. If a party objects to the Arbitrator remaining on the case, the Labor Relations Connection will consult with the parties and the Arbitrator to determine whether the Arbitrator should be disqualified and shall inform the parties of the decision.
  11. Vacancies
    If an Arbitrator must resign or is unable to serve for any reason, the vacancy created will be filled by the next mutually acceptable Arbitrator from the list used. If there is none, the vacancy will be filled in the same manner followed during the original selection process. The grievance will then be reheard by the new Arbitrator, unless the parties agree otherwise.
  12. Scheduling Hearings
    The Labor Relations Connection will work with the parties to determine a mutually convenient date, time and location for the hearing. The hearings will commence at 10:00 a.m. unless the parties otherwise agree. When a hearing date is confirmed, a Notice of Hearing will be sent to the parties, indicating the name of the Arbitrator appointed to hear the grievance, and the date, time, place of the hearing.
  13. Location of Hearing
    The parties must mutually agree on the location where the arbitration is to be held. If the parties cannot agree to the location for the hearing, the Arbitrator appointed to hear the grievance will make a ruling to determine the location.
  14. Subpoenas
    An Arbitrator may subpoena witnesses and documents on behalf of either party. Prior to requesting a subpoena, the requesting party should contact the other party in order to seek cooperation in obtaining the needed documents or attendance of a particular witness for the hearing. If the opposing party does not produce the requested documents or if the witness declines to attend the hearing, a request for subpoena can then be made through The Labor Relations Connection. Such requests should be submitted through The Labor Relations Connection at least seven (7) days prior to the day of hearing, with a copy of the requested subpoena served on the other side. The Labor Relations Connection will inquire if there are any objections. If there is no opposition to the issuance of a subpoena, it will be referred to the Arbitrator for his or her signature. It is the responsibility of The Labor Relations Connection to obtain the Arbitrator’s signature on the subpoena and transmit the subpoena to the requesting party for service. If there is opposition to the subpoena, the Arbitrator may elect to hold a conference call before ruling on the appropriateness of the subpoena.
  15. Stenographic Documentation
    Any party requiring a stenographic record can make arrangements themselves or request the assistance of The Labor Relations Connection. The requesting party is responsible for the cost of the record. If the transcript is agreed by the parties or the Arbitrator to be the official record of the hearing, a copy of the transcript must be provided to the arbitrator. A copy must also be made available to the other party for inspection. In such instance, the Arbitrator will determine the time and place for said inspection.
  16. Attendance and Representation at Hearings
    The Arbitrator has the authority to determine whether or not the attendance of any person is appropriate. Any party has the option of being represented by counsel or other representative.
  17. Proceedings and Evidence
    Exhibits may be submitted to the Arbitrator as evidence during the hearing process. Names of all witnesses and exhibits will become part of the record. The Arbitrator has the sole discretion to determine the order of proceedings. The parties will be given the opportunity to present relevant proofs. The parties may provide any evidence relevant to the dispute and shall provide any additional material required by the Arbitrator. The Arbitrator will determine the admissibility of evidence and the manner in which it is presented.
  18. Inspection
    By agreement of the parties, or by request of the Arbitrator, the Arbitrator may view a site relevant to the subject matter of the grievance. The Arbitrator will have final authority to determine who may be present at the inspection.
  19. Ex-parte Arbitration Proceedings
    If an Arbitrator is certain that a party refusing or failing to attend a hearing has been given adequate notice of the time, place and purposes of the hearing, the hearing may proceed ex parte. In an instance where a party is absent, the party in attendance is still required to submit evidence in support of its position and the Arbitrator shall determine the sufficiency of the proof.
  20. Filing of Documents
    Documents to be submitted (by agreement of the parties) after the hearing, must be delivered to The Labor Relations Connection for transmittal to the Arbitrator and to the other party.
  21. Filing of Briefs
    If briefs are to be filed by the parties, the date for filing of the brief will be established by the Arbitrator at the hearing. Briefs are customarily due thirty (30) days from the last day of hearing. Briefs are filed with The Labor Relations Connection for transmittal to the opposing party and to the Arbitrator.
  22. Postponements
    When a party requests a postponement, the request should be made through The Labor Relations Connection, who will contact the other party to determine whether or not they will agree to the request. If the other party opposes the request, the Arbitrator will make a ruling to either uphold the request to postpone or go forward with the hearing as scheduled.
  23. Re-Opening of the Hearing
    An application by either party must be made prior to the issuance of the Award. Re-openings will be subject to the Arbitrator’s discretion.
  24. Submission of Arbitrator’s Award
    Unless there is an agreement to the contrary, the Award of the Arbitrator will be due thirty (30) days from receipt of the parties’ briefs. If the parties file no briefs, the Award will be due thirty (30) days from the last day of hearing, unless otherwise agreed. The Arbitrator will submit the Award to The Labor Relations Connection for distribution to the parties.
  25. Modification of Award
    Either party, upon notice to the other party, may request the Arbitrator, through The Labor Relations Connection, to correct any alleged errors in the Award. A party shall not request that the Arbitrator reconsider the merits of the Award.
  26. Documents for Judicial Proceedings
    The Labor Relations Connection will, upon written request, provide certified copies of documents that may be required in judicial proceedings relating to an arbitration case under its jurisdiction. The party requesting the documents will bear all costs associated with providing the certified documents.
  27. Exclusion of Liability
    Neither The Labor Relations Connection nor any Arbitrator in a proceeding under these Rules is deemed a party in any judicial proceedings. Further, parties to an arbitration under The Labor Relations Connection Labor Arbitration Rules will be determined to have agreed that neither The Labor Relations Connection nor any Arbitrator will be liable to any party for damages or other relief for any action associated with any arbitration.
  28. Costs Associated with Arbitration
    Expenses associated with the arbitration, specifically, administrative filing fee, conference room charges, and arbitrator’s fees will be split equally by the parties, absent a provision within the collective bargaining agreement stating otherwise, or unless the parties agree otherwise. No refund of the Administrative Filing Fee is made when a grievance goes into abeyance, is withdrawn or settled after the submission of the Demand for Arbitration.
  29. Non-Payment of Administrative Fees
    If a party does not pay its share of the administrative filing fee or any other administrative fees associated with an arbitration, The Labor Relations Connection may, with advance notice to both parties, temporarily cease or ultimately terminate proceedings due to lack of payment.
  30. Abeyance
    Upon mutual agreement, a case may be placed in abeyance for a period not to exceed one (1) year. Absent a renewed mutual request, the case will then be closed.
  31. Code of Professional Responsibility
    The National Academy of Arbitrators’ Code of Professional Responsibility for Arbitrators of Labor-Management Disputes is incorporated by reference.
  32. Modification of Rules
    The Labor Relations Connection reserves the right to modify or amend these Rules at any time.

Expedited Labor Arbitration Rules

Parties have the option of using this method when they require a prompt hearing, and issuance of an Award within a brief period of time. Expedited arbitration typically excludes submission of briefs and lengthy awards. Upon notification by the parties of the need for expedited arbitration, the Labor Relations Connection will identify at least four Arbitrators available to hear the grievance on one or more dates mutually acceptable to the parties. The Labor Relations Connection will notify the parties which Arbitrators are available to hear their grievance, and dates they are available. The parties will have until the end of that business day, to rank the Arbitrators in order of preference. The Arbitrator with the lowest combined number will hear the grievance on the date previously agreed to by the parties.

Most cases are heard in one day. If another day of hearing is required, a second day will be held within seven (7) days. Unless there is an agreement to the contrary, the Arbitrator will issue a one or two page award to the parties within seven (7) days of the hearing. All sections of The Labor Arbitration Rules that are not in conflict with expedited arbitration procedures shall apply.

Costs of Expedited Arbitration
The administrative filing fee for expedited arbitration is the same as the cost for standard arbitration. However, significant savings can be realized as a result of not filing briefs, and an abbreviated Award from the Arbitrator.

Revised March 2016