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For more than a decade, the employment law community, including the plaintiffs’ bar, the defense bar, and a cavalcade of academicians, has fiercely debated the use (or misuse, as some argue) of arbitration for the adjudication of federal and state employment law cases. The majority of the cases at issue in the debate are wrongful termination cases. In most wrongful termination cases, ex-employees allege that their ex-employers, or their employer’s alleged agents, harassed or otherwise discriminated against them, which resulted in their termination (or other adverse action). Resolution of such cases, whether via litigation, arbitration, or any other alternative means of dispute resolution, invariably entails interpretation of federal statutes such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), and the equivalent state and local statutes that mirror and often bolster the federal law.


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© Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.