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April 7, 2011

Public policy exception to compelling arbitration

Public policy exception to compelling arbitration
Matter of Mineola Union Free School Dist. v Mineola Teachers' Assn., 37 AD3d 605

The Appellate Division affirmed a Supreme Court ruling dismissing a motion for a preliminary injunction staying arbitration filed by the Mineola Union Free School District and granting the Mineola Teachers’ Association’s motion to compel arbitration.

After holding that “the subject of the claim sought to be arbitrated is the type authorized by the Taylor Law,” the Appellate Division explained:

Contrary to the District's contention, an arbitrator's award in favor of the Association would not violate public policy.

The court noted that “The public policy exception to parties' power to agree to arbitrate disputes, and an arbitrator's power to resolve disputes, is a narrow one,” applying only in situations where “the award itself [would] violate a well-defined constitutional, statutory or common law of this State.”

In this instance, the Appellate Division concluded that “no law prohibits an award validating the procedures enumerated” in an article set out in the collective bargaining agreement between the parties.

The public policy exception in arbitration was considered by the Court of Appeals in NYC Transit Authority v Transport Workers Union of America, 99 NY2d 1

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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