SW Legal studies in Business

Claim of Sex Discrimination Must Be Resolved by Arbitration Under Collective Bargaining Agreement
Description The Alaska high court held that a claim of sex discrimination in employment, based on state law, was subject to grievance procedure and binding arbitration under terms of the collective bargaining agreement that covered the complaining party.
Topic Labor Law
Key Words Sex Discrimination; Arbitration; Grievance
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Barnica resigned his position as a custodian at a public school in Alaska and sued for sex discrimination, contending that the women custodians were favored over the men custodians. The trial court dismissed the suit, holding that Barnica failed to pursue all grievance procedures provided in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Barnica appealed.
Decision

Affirmed. The CBA required plaintiff to exhaust grievance procedures and, then, submit the matter to binding arbitration for resolution. Although Barnica's claim of sex discrimination is based on a statutory claim, the CBA required all disputes to go through grievance and, if not resolved there, to arbitration. The state statute prohibiting sex discrimination did not preclude arbitration.

Citation Barnica v. Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, 46 P.3d 974 (Sup. Ct., Alaska, 2002)

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