Thursday, September 28, 2023
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Court OK’s Arbitrator’s Decision in Labor Case

(CN) - The D.C. Circuit upheld an arbitrator's decision to allow a union grievance over the dismissal of a probationary postal worker, saying federal courts do not have the authority to simply overrule an arbitrator's decision.

The American Postal Workers Union filed a grievance challenging the U.S. Postal Service's dismissal of probationary employee Lorraine Daliessio. The arbitrator concluded that the collective bargaining agreement between the union and postal service allowed the grievance because "the grievant was not separated under during her probationary period."

The district court vacated the arbitrator's decision, ruling that arbitral precedent "expressly disallows probationary employees access to grievance procedures."

Reversing the district court's decision, the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., ruled that "the Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear that 'a federal court may not overrule an arbitrator's decision simply because the court believes its own interpretation of the contract would be the better one.'"

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