UHS recognizes that workplace disagreements may arise from time to time. Most UHS subsidiaries have a 3-tier program for resolution of workplace disputes, known as Alternative Resolution of Conflicts (ARC). ARC is an agreement to arbitrate disputes in the workplace. ARC is a contract between you, the employee, and your employer. ARC does not change any other terms and conditions of employment; it is a contract where you and your employer agree to resolve any covered legal disputes through mandatory arbitration instead of by way of court or jury trial. It is your responsibility to review the ARC Agreement. You are entitled to receive a copy of the ARC Agreement upon request.
ARC is a stand-alone legal document that completely covers the arbitration process, so most employee’s questions can be answered by referring to provisions in the ARC Program. The following information and FAQs do not replace the ARC Program or supplement the ARC Program terms in anyway.
In the first of three Tiers, which is voluntary and not a prerequisite to arbitration under ARC, you will continue to bring any workplace concerns directly to your employer by following the procedures in the Dispute Resolution Policy as outlined in your Employee Handbook. This is considered Tier One, and we believe many concerns will be resolved at this level. If Tier One doesn’t result in a resolution, you may choose to proceed to Tier Two: mediation. Mediation is a voluntary process where procedures and conversations are facilitated by a neutral third party mediator whose purpose is to help both you and your employer reach an agreeable resolution. Although we strongly encourage mediation, it is voluntary and not a prerequisite to arbitration under ARC. If a solution to your concerns is not resolved at Tier Two, then you proceed with Tier Three, mandatory arbitration. Arbitration is an alternative to court. Arbitration is presided over by an arbitrator who is a professional, independent, and impartial third party who listens to both sides, reviews evidence and renders a final, binding decision.
In short, Tier One provides you with an opportunity to directly resolve concerns directly with your employer. If necessary, Tier Two provides an opportunity for both parties to tell their stories to a listener who provides an objective view of the grievance and offers options to resolve the legal dispute. Finally, Tier Three provides both parties with a neutral decision maker who is empowered to end the dispute.
The following Q & A will help you understand the basics of the ARC program. If you have questions after reading these and the ARC Program document, please ask your supervisor or talk with your Human Resources representative.
Frequently asked questions.
Q - Does the ARC Program change the nature of my at-will employment?
A - No. Employees are still employed at-will unless otherwise provided by a union contract or law.
Q - Do I have still have the right to an attorney?
A - Yes.
Q - What types of disputes are covered under this program?
A - ARC covers legal disputes. It does not cover routine workplace disputes, unless they involve or lead to a legal dispute involving violation of law. Examples of issues which may be related to you and your employer are, but are not limited to: allegations of discrimination; disputes relating to wages, hours, or overtime; retaliation for exercising legal rights; defamation; infliction of emotional distress; invasion of privacy; wrongful discharge or wrongful termination; and, breach of contract. Additional information can be found in the ARC Agreement provided to new employees during orientation.
Q - Are there any claims that cannot be brought under this program?
A - Yes, the ARC Program lists claims that are not covered. For example, claims for workers’ compensation or unemployment compensation benefits or state disability benefits, claims for benefits under any Company benefit plan, including those covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), disputes under a Collective Bargaining Agreement, and claims that cannot be arbitrated under federal law, among others.
Q - Can I opt-out of this program?
A - Yes. Arbitration is not a mandatory condition of employment. Employees may opt of the Program by submitting a completed Opt-Out Notice Form [download here] within thirty days of either being hired or the Effective date of this Program. Employees who timely opt out of the Program will not be subject to any adverse employment action as a consequence of that decision and may pursue any available legal remedies. Employees who do not opt out of the Program within the applicable time frame will be bound by the ARC Agreement.
Q - How do I initiate mediation or arbitration?
A - You or your attorney must demand arbitration in writing and deliver the written demand by hand or first class mail to the other party within the applicable statute of limitations period to the UHS legal department.