I am ready to go to trial with my former employer by the American Arbitration Association. Will I still be awarded fairly?

Asked over 1 year ago - Memphis, TN

I filed 2 charges of discrimination against my former employer for discrimination/retaliation. We also had an appeals hearing for unemployment benefits in which I prevailed. I've gathered even more harmful evidence (EEOC interviews) that benefits my case greatly. Punitive damage for intentional retaliation for a corporate that employs 500 employees is $300,000. Will I be entitled to that amount because I'm in Arbitration and not in district court. Could i get a million dollars in arbitration if i prove my case at trial?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Christopher Lloyd Seaton

    Contributor Level 7

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    Answered . Your remedies are severely limited in Arbitration and you may not have a solid understanding of what "arbitration" entails. Arbitration is not a trial, and there is no judge or jury. Arbitration is a form of "alternative dispute resolution" where two sides present the evidence they have to a third party neutral, who then issues a binding decision on the matter. You do not get a chance to appeal issues in arbitration, and there are certain arbiters that do not necessarily look at solely the law when dealing with a case. You need to contact an experienced Labor and Employment attorney immediately. If you contact my office I may be able to give you a referral to someone in the Memphis area.

    The information contained in this answer is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed in any... more
  2. Jason Wade Barnette

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . Couldn't agree more with Mr. Tan . . . I would consult with a Tennessee employment discrimination attorney before proceeding in either an arbitral or judical forum.

    I am not your attorney nor is any answer I may provide legal advice. You may contact me directly for legal advice... more
  3. Herbert J Tan

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . Generally speaking, arbitration awards are limited to back wages and costs. Although punitive damages can be awarded, they are more frequent in jury trials/district court cases.

    Also, your right of appeal is severely limited in arbitration matters.

    You should really find a experienced labor and employment attorney to assist you.

    Herbert Tan, Esq.
    E-mail: Herbert@tanlaws.com
    Website: www.tanlaws.com

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  4. Robert V Cornish Jr.

    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . If you're filing with AAA, check out their website to learn more about the costs and filing fees associated with arbitration. It is not cheap, and they will not handle the case if you do not pay them.

    The foregoing is not legal advice nor is it in any manner whatsoever meant to create or impute an attorney/client... more
  5. David Andrew Mallen

    Contributor Level 14

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    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Very few arbitrators have the courage to award big emotional distress awards and punitive damages award, because they fear that employers and insurance companies will never pick them again to arbitrate.

    Statistically, you have a lower chance of winning in arbitration, and when you do win the award is typically lower in arbitration as compared to a jury award.

    I cannot imagine why you would not get a lawyer if you think you have a seven-figure case.

    David Mallen

    David A. Mallen offers answers on Avvo for general information only. This offer of free, general answers is not... more

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