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    The Trucker's Trial Case Study

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    Second Case: THE TRUCKER'S TRIALS

    This case involves a truck driver (Jaime Smith) for a coal company who failed a random drug test. The driver and his/her union grieved the discharge and his/her case is assigned to an arbitration hearing on July 25, 2011.

    The employer, Appalachian Coal Company, and the United Mine Workers of America are parties to a collective bargaining agreement known as the National Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement (the "Wage Agreement"). Article IA, Section (d) of the Wage Agreement reserves to Appalachian the exclusive right to hire and discharge employees. The right of Appalachian to discharge employees is limited, however, by Article XXIV, Section (a) of the Wage Agreement, which provides that

    "no employee covered by this Agreement may be disciplined or discharged except
    for just cause." (Emphasis added.)

    Article XXIV, Section (d) (3) of the Wage Agreement applies to those situations where an employee grieves a discharge and the case proceeds to arbitration. Under such circumstances, Section (d) (3) mandates that:

    If the arbitrator determines that the Employer has failed to establish just cause for
    the Employee's discharge, the Employee shall be immediately reinstated to his
    job. If the arbitrator determines that there was just cause for the discharge, the
    discharge shall become effective upon the date of the arbitrator's decision.

    The issues before the arbitrators are:

    (1) "Was the suspension with intent to discharge of grievant James Smith for just cause?" and (2) "And if not, what is the appropriate remedy?"

    Some possible remedies (or combinations of these) include:
    Upholding the discharge
    Reinstatement with no conditions attached
    Reinstatement with conditions attached
    Suspension with or without backpay
    One side pays all the cost of arbitration (as opposed to splitting the cost.)
    "Last chance" agreement (One more infraction means immediate termination. Employee agrees not to grieve it. This could last indefinitely or for a period of time, i.e.., five years.)
    Participation in a substance abuse program
    Subjection to random tests

    The parties and their attorneys will be given additional factual information in class.

    For more information on labor arbitration procedure, see the American Arbitration Association rules at http://www.adr.org/sp.asp?id=25730. or visit Cornell's website at www.law.cornell.edu/topics/collective_bargaining.html.

    For a recent case dealing with the "just cause"issue, see: SUMMIT COUNTY CHILDREN SERVICES BOARD v. COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA, LOCAL 4546, 113 Ohio St. 3d 291; 2007 Ohio 1949; 865 N.E.2d 31; 2007 Ohio LEXIS 1129 (May 9, 2007).

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    Solution Preview

    Why should mediation should be used instead of arbitratoin in this case. 1page
    Second Case: THE TRUCKERâ??S TRIALS

    This case involves a truck driver (Jaime Smith) for a coal company who failed a random drug test. The driver and his/her union grieved the discharge and his/her case is assigned to an arbitration hearing on July 25, 2011.

    The employer, Appalachian Coal Company, and the United Mine Workers of America are parties to a collective bargaining agreement known as the National Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement (the "Wage Agreement"). Article IA, Section (d) of the Wage Agreement reserves to Appalachian the exclusive right to hire and discharge employees. The right of Appalachian to discharge employees is limited, however, by Article XXIV, Section (a) of the Wage Agreement, which provides that

    "no employee covered by this Agreement may be disciplined or discharged except
    for just cause." (Emphasis added.)

    Article XXIV, Section (d) (3) of the Wage Agreement applies to those situations where an employee grieves a discharge and the case proceeds to arbitration. Under such circumstances, Section (d) (3) mandates that:
    If the arbitrator determines that the Employer has failed to establish ...

    Solution Summary

    THE TRUCKER'S TRIALS is discussed in great detail in this solution. The expert determines that the employer has failed to establish just cause for tHe employee's discharge.

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