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Disparti Law Group Prevails Over Labor Arbitration Hurdle

Labor arbitration, image of papers reading arbitration agreement on table near gavel and pen, Disparti Law GroupBecause of the hard work of labor unions throughout U.S. history, workers have more rights than ever before. However, the work is far from over as large corporations continue to find opportunities to infringe on the rights of their employees. When a Chicago Department of Aviation (CDOA) employee’s grievances went unheard and management refused to go to arbitration, our firm stepped in and prevailed.  For Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, no labor arbitration win is too small when fighting for workers’ rights. 

In This Article:

CDOA Pushes Back On Security Sergeant’s Labor Grievances

Chris Logan, the Grievant, worked as a security sergeant for over 28 years at the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDOA). After a system error led to him missing a shift, he was considered a no-call, no-show, and subsequently put on a suspension without pay. The security sergeant pushed back and objected to the suspension.

Even as a non-dues-paying member of the Illinois Council of Police (ICOP), the security sergeant was still entitled to union representation through the labor grievance process, which means that the union was responsible for filing grievances on his behalf. However, the union originally objected to filing due to his status as a non-dues-paying member. This delay effectively stalled Logan’s access to representation.

The union eventually filed the grievances after the Labor Board declared the union in breach of its duty to provide representation.  However, the CDOA took advantage of the delay by later claiming that the case was not arbitrable because the grievance was filed too late, regardless of their previous assurances that they would allow full access to the grievance process.

Thanks to the union’s representation and the dedicated work of Attorney Cass Casper at Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, this would not stand. The arbitrator determined that the case is arbitrable and our client will get a fair shake at disputing his suspensions and being compensated for unfair lost wages.

What Is Labor Arbitration?

Labor arbitration is the final resort for resolving disputes between management and labor unions based on the collective bargaining agreement. Both parties are referred to an impartial third party called an arbitrator who, after considering the facts and arguments presented by both parties, issues a binding decision to settle the matter conclusively. There are two primary types of labor arbitration:

  • Arbitration of rights. When the worker and management must resolve disputes over the application of an existing labor contract.
  • Arbitration of interests. Plays a crucial in settling disagreements over terms and conditions in a new labor union contract. This type of arbitration can help mitigate and even prevent a strike.

In especially complex labor arbitrations, both unions and union members can benefit from having an attorney in their corner. Illinois labor laws can be complex and nuanced. Our skilled and experienced labor and employment lawyers would be able to help navigate the legal landscape and stand in the way when management tries to take advantage of their workers.

Role of Unions In the Grievance Process

Unions play a vital role in the grievance process when there is a dispute between management and an employee. In most cases, an employee cannot file a grievance on their own. Only their union is permitted to file a grievance on their behalf.

Unions are involved in each step of the grievance process all the way through arbitration:

  1. Initiation of Grievance. The Union is responsible for putting the grievance in writing within fifteen (15) calendar days of the events that give rise to the grievance.
  2. Appeal Process. If the grievance is not resolved at the initial step with the immediate supervisor, the Union has the right to appeal within ten (10) calendar days after receiving the decision.
  3. Arbitration Submission. If the grievance persists after the appeal, either the Union or the Employer (excluding individual employees) can submit the dispute to arbitration. The submission must occur within fifteen (15) calendar days after the answer is given at the appeal stage.

The provisions outlined in this Agreement constitute the exclusive source of rights for either party during the arbitration process. The arbitrator is authorized solely to interpret the existing provisions of this Agreement.

Who Determines a Case Is Arbitrable?

Sometimes, a grievance can be resolved before reaching arbitration. However, when management and the worker or union cannot find a solution, then either party may request arbitration. But to be arbitrable, certain guidelines must have been met.

In Logan’s case, the City argued that the grievances were not arbitrable because only the union could file the grievances, and the grievances once filed were outside the 15-day window.

Fortunately, the decision on whether a case is arbitrable comes down to the arbitrator. In this case, the arbitrator ruled in favor of Logan and the union, and the grievances will now be arbitrated to determine if the Grievant should be compensated for wages lost during his suspension.

Disparti Law Group Gets Results For Unions and Union Members in Arbitration

Though it may seem small, this victory was a major win for our client. His fight would have ended there before it even began had the arbitrator decided the case was not arbitrable. Luckily, due to the extensive experience of Attorney Cass Casper and our team at Disparti Law Group, the fight is not over.

Having a labor and employment lawyer who understands the nuances of the labor laws in Illinois can make all the difference. At Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, we actively handle all labor arbitration union matters, representing both unions in collective bargain agreements and union members in grievances. We will always fight for workers’ rights and the fairest compensation

For a FREE consultation and guidance on any labor arbitration issue, contact us today at (312) 600-6000 and find out why thousands say… Larry wins!

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The Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers is one of the most successful law firms serving the greater Chicago and Tampa areas. As the leader in Injury, Disability, Workers’ Comp, and Employment Law, with more than $1 Billion in recoveries, The Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers has been named One of the Most Influential Law Firms in America by Trial Lawyer Magazine.

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