LCW Obtains Victory In Grievance Arbitration

CATEGORY: Client Update for Public Agencies, Fire Watch, Law Enforcement Briefing Room, Public Education Matters
CLIENT TYPE: Public Education, Public Employers, Public Safety
DATE: May 05, 2020

LCW Partner Adrianna Guzman and Associate Attorney Anni Safarloo recently obtained a victory for a Hospital Authority (Authority) in a grievance arbitration.

Under the parties’ Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), employees are entitled to leave time from their Extended Illness Bank (EIB) for illnesses lasting three or more consecutive days.   The MOU also provides that employees must use Paid Time Off (PTO) for unscheduled absences of less than three days, unless the absence is protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act or California’s Kin Care law.  An employee filed a grievance against the Authority complaining that her supervisor had placed her on PTO rather than allowing her access to the EIB, despite the fact she was sick for three consecutive days.

The Union claimed that the Authority should have paid employees from their EIB beginning on the third consecutive day of being absent, whereas the Authority claimed that EIB did not kick in until the employee had been out for three consecutive shifts.  Relying on the fundamental tenets of collective bargaining agreement interpretation, the arbitrator agreed with the Authority and denied the grievance. 


Here, the parties were not able to resolve the issue through the lower steps of the contractual grievance procedure, so the matter proceeded to arbitration. LCW attorneys proved that the MOU language clearly and unambiguously resolved the grievance in our client’s favor.