In the wake of Judge Rafael A. Ongkeko’s ruling upholding an arbitration award which granted actor Bruce Willis millions in unpaid compensation against BD&P Company, LLC and producer Michael Benaroya following the failed production of the film “Wake”, the legal issue of unpaid wages is on the big screen at last.
So grab your popcorn, sit back, enjoy the following arbitration awards (brought to you by Bloomberg BNA), and “stay woke” when it comes to your compensation.
Look Who’s Arbitrating Too
Try Hard or “Die Hard”
Based on data obtained from Bloomberg BNA’s Arbitration Award Navigator, of the 873 arbitration awards involving wages, employers prevailed in 46.2% of cases, unions prevailed in 41.5% of cases, individuals prevailed in 0.6% of cases, and 11.8% of cases involved mixed prevailing parties.
Accordingly, despite Bruce Willis’s success in walking away as the winner, victorious against all odds much like McClane (spoiler alert!), arbitrators generally rule for employers in compensation-related cases. Because of this, the grieving party—whether it be the union or the individual—must try hard or “die hard” in asserting a claim for unpaid compensation in arbitration.
The Arbitral Sixth Sense
There’s no formula for calculating the outcome of a legal matter ahead of time. Sometimes your case possesses that je ne sais quoi to prevail in arbitration or in court, and sometimes it doesn’t. Parties are encouraged to craft collective-bargaining contracts that address the multitude of potential compensation issues that may arise—and to promote the policies enacted therein.
Whether you work in Hollywood, or in your hometown far from the city of stars, the contract is a product of your creation, so picture the possibilities, and think big picture.
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