New Study: Workers Win More Money and More Often in Arbitration Than in Court

New Poll Also Shows More Than Six in Ten
View Arbitration Favorably as a Way to Solve Disputes

New Poll Also Shows More Than Six in Ten 
View Arbitration Favorably as a Way to Solve Disputes




May 16, 2019


Washington, D.C. — Arbitration is a simpler, faster, and fairer way to solve disputes, and results in more money for employees, according to a new analysis of more than 100,000 employee arbitration and court claims from 2014-2018. The research and analysis was done by NDP Analytics, a Washington-based strategic economic and communication research firm.

Fairer, Faster, Better: An Empirical Assessment of Employment Arbitration, the largest study ever undertaken of employment dispute resolution, was released today by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. It comes as Congress debates a series of bills banning employment arbitration.  

The study found that:

  • Employees were three times more likely to win in arbitration than in court.
  • Employees on average won twice the amount of money through arbitration ($520,630) than in court ($269,885). 
  • Arbitration disputes were resolved on average faster (569 days) than in litigation (665 days).  
  • Seventy-nine percent of arbitration cases were filed by employees who made less than $100,000.

 “This study shows hands down that employees fare much, much better in arbitration than they do in litigation,” said Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. “If Congress takes away the option for employees to use arbitration and forces them into filing lawsuits, the only winners will be trial lawyers looking to cash in on excessive litigation.”

People also want to keep their access to arbitration to resolve claims, according to another survey released today. More than six in 10 people say they view arbitration favorably as a way to resolve disputes between employees and employers, and between consumers and companies. The public opinion survey of 1,000 registered voters was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies from March 7-11, 2019. 

“The research is clear: employees are more likely to win their cases more quickly, and for more money, with arbitration. Maybe that’s why they clearly prefer to keep it,” said Rickard. 

The data analyzed by NDP was for employment arbitration awards and employment court judgments for claims that terminated between 2014 and 2018.  It included 10,486 arbitration cases from the American Arbitration Association and JAMS (formerly known as Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc.). It also included 90,758 federal court cases, excluding class actions and cases where the plaintiff was a federal government agency.



About the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform

The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the global, national, state, and local levels.


About the U.S. Chamber of Commerce


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.


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Institute for Legal Reform Press Contact
Shira Rawlinson