Alternative Dispute Resolution in Non-Union Employee Relations
In 2010, Ellen Pao (a woman, who according to Slate magazine is educated in business, law and engineering) filed a discrimination suit against her employer, Kleiner Perkins. In 2015, after a trial that lasted nearly one month, the jury found in favor of Kleiner Perkins. Although this wasn’t the outcome that people had hoped for, many believed that the case represented an important moment for professional women: Despite Pao’s loss, the public’s awareness of the discrimination women face in male dominated environments had increased as a result of her public pursuit.
While Pao may have been motivated in part by the desire to increase public awareness, one of her primary interests must have been to the desire resolve her personal grievance, which resulted from the way she’d been treated during her tenure at Kleiner Perkins. That Pao had her day in court to address these issues is somewhat rare. Evidence suggests that attorneys accept few of the cases brought forward by employees (Mahony & Klaas, 2007). Most who find themselves with a grievance are left to the dispute resolution processes established by their companies, or with no course of action at all.
It is difficult to say what Pao’s experience would have been had she sought (or been able) to resolve the issue through private channels; Alternative dispute resolution in today’s non-union employment environment takes many different shapes. Despite this
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