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 What We Do / Arbitration / FMCS Arbitrator and Hearing Rules and Regulations
  FMCS Arbitrator and Hearing Rules and Regulations

Arbitrators who are members of the FMCS Roster of Arbitrators must adhere to FMCS Arbitration Policies and Procedures and The Code of Professional Responsibility for Arbitrators of Labor-Management Disputes. There are no specific “hearing” rules for FMCS arbitrators. The arbitrator determines the manner in which the hearing will be conducted and is totally responsible for determining evidentiary and other matters related to the hearing, unless these matters are outlined in the parties' collective bargaining agreement.

The arbitrator you select is an independent contractor whose relationship is solely with the parties to the dispute. Arbitrators on the FMCS Roster are subject to certain reporting requirements and to the ethical standards and procedures set forth in FMCS Arbitration Policies and Procedures and The Code of Professional Responsibility for Arbitrators of Labor-Management Disputes. However, under Federal Regulations, FMCS "has no power to:

  1. Compel parties to appear before an arbitrator;
  2. Enforce an agreement to arbitrate;
  3. Compel parties to arbitrate any issue;
  4. Influence, alter, or set aside decisions of arbitrators on the Roster; or
  5. Compel, deny, or modify payment of compensation to an arbitrator."

A party who is displeased with an arbitrator or his/her decision may or may not have further avenues of redress, but FMCS is in no position to advise or assist parties who would have preferred a different result or who were simply not happy with the arbitrator.  FMCS may note or act upon allegations of violations of the Code or its arbitration policies by arbitrators, however. While findings of specific misconduct may result in suspension or removal of an arbitrator from the FMCS roster, FMCS is unable to take any action or provide any guidance that would alter or affect the outcome of an arbitration decision.

FMCS rules require that arbitrators make awards no later than 60 days from the date of the closing of the record as determined by the arbitrator, unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties or specified by the collective bargaining agreement or law. Failure to meet the 60-day deadline does not invalidate the process or award.  Parties are encouraged to notify FMCS if an award is overdue.

If you believe an arbitrator has violated either the FMCS Arbitration Policies and Procedures or The Code of Professional Responsibility for Arbitrators of Labor-Management Disputes, send a written complaint to the Office of Arbitration Services.  All complaints are taken seriously and are reviewed, and may be referred to the Arbitrator Review Board.