Monday, August 15, 2011
Tenth Circuit: Arbitrator Reinstating Employee Violating Rules and Lying About It Was Not Outside of the "Essence" of the CBA
The Tenth Circuit ruled that an arbitrator drew from the essence of the labor contract when he reinstated an employee and imposed a last chance agreement on the employee despite the employee having violated a company rule and then lying about it. In Chevron Mining Inc. v. United Mine Workers of America Local 1307, the court ruled that, although the arbitrator found that the employe was negligent and provided false information, it was permissible for the arbitrator to consider the motive of the employee in doing so. In this case, the arbitrator considered that because the employee's deception "was not for personal gain but to prevent loss of his reputation, seniority, and benefits," his conduct was forgivable. Such a conclusion and imposition of alternative sanctions was not making a decision outside of "the essence of the contract."