Employment Newsletter - September 2013: Connecticut Supreme Court Limits Arbitrator’s Discretion When Interpreting Collective Bargaining Agreements

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In State v. AFSCME, Council 4, Local 391, 2013 Conn. LEXIS 266 (Conn. Aug. 6, 2013), the Connecticut Supreme Court held there is a clear, well-defined and dominant policy against sexual harassment in the State and that an arbitrator’s interpretation of the “just cause” provision of a collective bargaining agreement as barring an employee’s lifetime termination of employment violated that public policy.

Facts -

The State of Connecticut and AFSCME, Council 4, Local 391, entered into a collective bargaining agreement. A corrections officer employed by the Department of Corrections, who was also a member of the bargaining unit represented by AFSCME, was discharged from his employment for allegedly engaging in an open pattern of sexual harassment in knowing violation of the department’s administrative directive. The employee, through AFSCME, filed a grievance against the State, and the parties submitted to arbitration pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement.

Please see full Newsletter below for more information.

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