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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99230 Find in a Library
Title: Arbitration of Nonunion Employees' Discharge Cases
Journal: Labor  Dated:(Winter 1984)  Pages:35-42
Author(s): R A Creo
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews judicial and legislative developments regarding the establishment of a just cause standard for discharging employees and the use of labor arbitration to resolve nonunion employee discharge disputes.
Abstract: The common law permits an employer to discharge employees hired for an indefinite period for any or no reason. Collective bargaining agreements invariably abolish this 'at will' rule and institute a just cause standard for employee discharge. In recent years, employees not protected from 'at will' discharge by a collective bargaining agreement or Federal or State legislation have resorted to civil suit in claims of wrongful or abusive discharge. Federal statutes have modified the 'at will' doctrine by protecting certain conduct or classes of persons, and some State statutes have also restricted the common law terms of employment. Because of extensive legislation bearing upon abusive discharge and the potential for a grievant to bring a civil suit, it is practical and beneficial for both employers and nonunion employees to use labor arbitration processes in resolving discharge disputes. Arbitration for nonunion employees can be either at common law or pursuant to Federal or State statutes. The arbitrator can be authorized to act in a quasi-judicial manner to render a final and binding award. Issues to be addressed in the use of arbitration in nonunion employee disputes include the effect of the arbitrator's award and whether arbitration would be mandatory or voluntary. The division of arbitration costs between employer and employee would also have to be decided. The key issue, however, is determining the just cause standard to be applied when determining the appropriateness of a discharge. The article includes a description of arbitration hearing procedures in a discharge case. Ninety-seven footnotes are listed.
Index Term(s): Arbitration; Employee dismissal; Labor relations
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