“Corporate Counsel — Labor Law and Dispute Resolution”

Well, well, well….It’s about time, Corporate America.

Apparently after all the cuts that have been made over the past five years, the finance department started looking at the amount of dollars flying out the door for litigated employment disputes and started to wonder if all the “whining” from the Human Resources department had merit after all.  

ImageRecently, a larger company decided to add a “designated lawyer” to its legal department who would be tasked with addressing personnel matters with an eye towards “dispute resolution.”  Part of the job entails negotiating, investigating, and participating in mediation of personnel disputes.  While these tasks sound like the things HR was previously tasked with performing (arguably with less authority than what this attorney will be empowered with), the reality is that corporations largely have missed opportunities to address workplace frictions, issues, and legal matters for decades.  Perhaps now the conclusion is unavoidable that addressing issues as early as possible is also good for the bottom line?

Many labor and employment attorneys are now focusing a significant portion of their time towards ADR and other conflict resolution services.  At One Mediation and at the Workplace Investigations Group, for example, experienced L&E attorneys have formed panels to handle workplace mediations, arbitrations and workplace investigations.  The bottom line is that the time has come to embrace the resolution, not the fight.