John H. Curley

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Arbitrator erred in determining timelines of a grievance The Fifth Circuit has effectively vacated an award of Arbitrator Daniel Jennings (here), concluding that the Arbitrator’s reliance on the execution date of the contract rather than its ratification date triggered the start of the timeline for the filing of a grievance. Southwest Airlines Company v. Local 555, Transport Workers Union of America. TWU Local 555 sought to arbitrate Southwest’s use of non-union vendors…
The District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has confirmed an award of Arbitrator Edward Krinsky that found  Mondelez Global improperly and unilateral modified a past practice allowing employee to voluntarily work seven days without a day of rest. Mondelez Global, LLC v International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO, District 8, Local Lodge 1202.   For “many years” employees had been allowed, on a voluntary basis,  to work seven consecutive days during a calendar work…
Award vacated – Reinstatement order ignored cba limitation on arbitrator’s authority The District Court in Massachusetts has vacated an award of Arbitrator Michael Stutz reinstating an employee dismissed by Steward Holy Family Hospital. Steward Holy Family Hospital, Inc. v. Massachusetts Nurses Association .  Grievant was employed by the hospital as a nurse. She was dismissed following an incident during which she was alleged to have “assaulted” another employee by grabbing her face and speaking to…
Arbitrator Richard J. Miller overturned the termination of a Benton County, MN Deputy. Benton County, Foley, Minnesota and Law Enforcement Labor Services, Inc. Grievant began his employment with the County in 2007. He was recognized as a “good and dependable” Deputy. In 2012, grievant sought and received a transfer to a multi-jurisdiction task force focused on violent crime. The new assignment was less structured than his previous position and was subject to looser oversight. Grievant…
Two recent awards deal with these issuesIn Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association and City of Cleveland Arbitrator Daniel Zeiser sustained a grievance filed on behalf of a Cleveland police officer who had been dismissed for alleged violation of the Department’s Use of Force policy. Grievant responded to a call of a burglary in progress. He and his partner approached the grocery store involved with their guns drawn and their fingers on the trigger. A suspect exited…
Arbitrator awarded back pay but no reinstatement – rejects request to reconsider decision As noted in an earlier post, Facebook postings grounds for dismissal of police officer, but delay in City’s response warrants backpay, Arbitrator Eric Lindauer found that the City of West Linn, Oregon had just cause to terminate the employment of a police officer because his racially charged Facebook posts violated the City’s Social Media policy and because he “could reasonably be perceived…
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has rejected a public policy challenge to the reinstatement of a police officer found by an arbitrator to have made “intentionally misleading …but less than intentionally false” statements in a police report. City of Pittsfield v. Local 447 International Brotherhood of Police Officers. Grievant had arrested an individual who had been identified by a supermarket’s security department as having  engaged in shoplifting. He placed the individual in the back of his…
The Nassau County (NY) District Attorney’s office has challenged a decision of Arbitrator John Sands ordering the reinstatement of  Investigator (and Local Union President) Michael Falzanaro. Nassau DA challenges ruling that her office improperly disclosed wiretap The DA’s office had a wiretap in place in connection with an investigation of municipal corruption. In August 2016, while monitoring certain calls pursuant to an eavesdropping warrant, investigators overhead the subjects of the warrant mention grievant’s name. The DA’s office applied…
Each of these topics is the subject of recent  court action. In MultiCare Health Systems v. Washington State Nurses Association, the Ninth Circuit reversed a District Court order vacating certain remedies ordered in an award of Arbitrator Douglas P. Hammond. The Union’s grievance claimed that Multicare violated the terms of a settlement agreement requiring MultiCare to provide employees with  a 15 minute break periods for every four hours worked. Arbitrator Hammond sustained the grievance and…
Police officer’s insubordinate action didn’t justify termination Arbitrator Don B. Hays modified the discipline imposed on a San Antonio police officer who had been accused of insubordination. Grievant was schedule to retire in July of 2017. He planned to utilize his accrued time of to carry him through that date, and to work full time at another job until his retirement became effective. Outside employment required the approval of the Chief. He began his outside…