Elkouri & Elkouri: How Arbitration Works, Eighth Edition, with 2017 Supplement

This essential reference for labor relations practitioners covers issues including retiree health insurance, employer intellectual property protections, union recognition, and more. References include citations to hundreds of arbitration awards and judicial decisions. It includes tables of all discussed or cited arbitration awards, statutory authorities, and arbitrators.


This is the standard text on labor arbitration that no labor relations specialist, union representative, labor law attorney, professor, or arbitrator should be without.

Elkouri & Elkouri: How Arbitration Works is the most comprehensive and authoritative treatise available on this subject. The reference of first resort, it has been utilized and cited by advocates, arbitrators, and judges more than any other arbitration book published. Highlights of the Eighth Edition include:

  • Discussion of change in deferral standard of National Labor Relations Board
  • Review of cost savings and online dispute resolution
  • Revised discussion of the burden of proof in discipline cases
  • Analysis of U.S. Supreme Court decisions on same-sex marriage and retiree health insurance
  • Expanded treatment of federal, state, and local government labor arbitration issues, reflecting the growing importance of public-sector arbitration
  • New section focusing on the on-duty misconduct of police officers

The Eighth Edition covers arbitrators’ consideration of external law in labor arbitration; the developing standards for evidentiary privilege as it relates to union shop stewards; arbitrators’ views on threats and violence; the continued viability of the plain meaning rule; the unauthorized practice of law in labor arbitration; and discussion of state and local government arbitration and interest arbitration.

Reference materials include a table of all arbitration awards cited, a table of arbitrators that can be used to research references to a particular arbitrator, a table of statutory authorities, and a comprehensive index. The treatise also provides citations to hundreds of recent arbitration awards, as well as references to important judicial decisions, academic and professional commentary, administrative agency regulations and opinions, and federal and state legislation.


  • Ch. 1 - Arbitration and its Setting
  • Ch. 2 - Legal Status of Arbitration in the Private Sector
  • Ch. 3 - Scope of Labor Arbitration
  • Ch. 4 - The Arbitration Tribunal
  • Ch. 5 - Grievances: Prelude to Arbitration
  • Ch. 6 - Determining Arbitrability
  • Ch. 7 - Arbitration Procedures and Techniques
  • Ch. 8 - Evidence
  • Ch. 9 - Interpreting Contract Language
  • Ch. 10 - Use of Substantive Rules of Law
  • Ch. 11 - Precedential Value of Arbitral Awards
  • Ch. 12 - Custom and Past Practice
  • Ch. 13 - Management Rights
  • Ch. 14 - Seniority
  • Ch. 15 - Discharge and Discipline
  • Ch. 16 - Safety and Health
  • Ch. 17 - Employee Rights and Benefits
  • Ch. 18 - Remedies in Arbitration
  • Ch. 19 - Constitutional Issues in Public-Sector Arbitration
  • Ch. 20 - Legal Status of Arbitration in the Federal Sector
  • Ch. 21 - Issues in State and Local Government Sector Arbitration
  • Ch. 22 - Arbitration of Interest Disputes


The 2017 Supplement updates the main volume with highlights including:

  • Liberalization of state marijuana laws and their impact on safety, drug, and alcohol testing issues
  • Technology’s impact on jurisdiction, modifying job content, work assignment, parties’ rights, and the arbitration process
  • Arbitrators’ treatment of statutory issues, and statutory and constitutional issues for public employees
  • Trends in discipline and remedies, including arbitral injunctions, attorneys’ fees, and expenses
  • Arbitration under applicable statutes including the FAA, the LMRA, and the RLA      


Bloomberg Law authors and editors are practicing professionals with insider perspectives and real-life experience. Learn more about this book’s authors and editors.

Kenneth May was an arbitrator and the lead editor of Labor Arbitration Reports, a component of Bloomberg Law’s Labor Relations Reporter, Arlington, VA.


Patrick M. Sanders is Of Counsel at SmithAmundsen LLC, St. Louis, MO. He is a past co-chair of the Committee on ADR in Labor and Employment Law.


Michelle T. Sullivan is Director of Labor Relations for the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, MI. She is a past co-chair of the Committee on ADR in Labor and Employment Law.


Wesley G. Kennedy is a founding shareholder in Allison, Slutsky & Kennedy, P.C., Chicago, IL. He has a general labor law practice concentrating in the hospitality, airline, graphic arts and other industries, representing unions in a full range of matters.




View full tables of contents and read the book’s preface or introduction.


Read what others have to say about this Bloomberg Law book.

“For more than 60 years, Elkouri and Elkouri: How Arbitration Works has been the classic reference book for labor arbitration, and it has been valuable to me professionally.”

Gail Golman Holtzman

Past Chair, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and Partner, Jackson Lewis P.C.


“Long considered to be the leading work in the field.”

Kendall F. Svengalis

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