Arbitration is a process in which a dispute is presented to a neutral third party, the arbitrator, for a final and binding decision. The arbitrator makes this decision after both sides present their evidence and arguments at the arbitration hearing. There is no jury. If you win, you can be awarded anything you might individually have received in a court.
The arbitration process is limited to disputes, claims or controversies that a court of law would be authorized to entertain or would have jurisdiction over to grant relief and that in any way arise out of, relate to or are associated with your employment with the Company or the termination of your employment. The parties in any such arbitration will be limited to you and the Company, unless you and the Company agree otherwise in writing. An impartial and independent arbitrator, chosen by agreement of both you and the Company, will be retained to make a final decision on your dispute or claim, based on application of the facts, the Company’s policies and procedures and the applicable law. The arbitrator's decision is final and binding on you and the Company.
A neutral party, the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), runs the proceedings, which are held privately. Since 1926, AAA has handled many thousands of cases. Though arbitration is much less formal than a court trial, it is an orderly proceeding, governed by rules of procedure and legal standards of conduct. The arbitrator's responsibility is to determine whether the Company’s policies and procedures and applicable law have been complied with in the matter submitted for arbitration. The arbitrator shall render a written decision on the matter within 30 days after the arbitration hearing is concluded and post-hearing briefs, if any, are submitted.
The Company and you will share the cost of the AAA's filing fee and the arbitrator's fees and costs, but your share of such fees and costs shall not exceed an amount equal to your local court civil filing fee. Except as otherwise provided by law, you and the Company will be responsible for the fees and costs of your own respective legal counsel, if any, and any other expenses and costs, such as costs associated with witnesses or obtaining copies of hearing transcripts.
The Company has access to legal advice through its outside lawyers. You may consult with a lawyer or any other adviser of your choice. You are not required, however, to hire a lawyer to participate in arbitration.
The Company will not modify or change the agreement between you and the Company to use final and binding arbitration to resolve employment-related disputes without notifying you and obtaining your consent to such changes, although specific MAP procedures or AAA Rules may be modified from time to time as required by applicable law. Also, the Arbitrator or a court may sever any part of the MAP that does not comport with the Federal Arbitration Act.