Arbitrator Did Not Exceed Authority By Ordering Worker Reinstated After His Resignation
Description Court held that in a labor arbitration case, an arbitrator did not exceed his authority by ordering a worker to be reinstated after the worker had signed a letter of resignation that was handed to him by his employer. Since the union argued that the resignation was really a wrongful discharge, there was an issue that fell under the scope of arbitration and the award would be enforced.
Topic Alternate Dispute Resolution
Key Words Arbitration; Enforcement; Scope of Authority
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts A collective bargaining agreement called for arbitration of employment disputes. When a worker had to leave work to seek medical treatment for his diabetic condition, the employer asked him to sign a letter "resigning from the position of Driver." The worker signed the letter. The union protested and the matter went to arbitration. The arbitrator ruled that the letter was only effective as to the position of driver, that the worker had to be reinstated in another position with back pay and benefits. The employer refused to accept the decision, holding that the arbitrator went beyond his authority. The union sued in court to enforce the award.
Decision Arbitration award is to be enforced. "An arbitrator's decision is entitled to great deference by a reviewing court." Under the Federal Arbitration Act, an award may be vacated where the arbitrator has exceeded the scope of his authority. The employer contends that the employee resigned, so that he is no longer an employee subject to the arbitration agreement. However, since the union contends that signing the letter amounted to a wrongful discharge, there is an issue subject to arbitration. The arbitrator did not exceed his authority.
Citation Maney v. United Sanitation, Inc., 2000 WL 1191235 (S.D. N.Y., 2000)

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