Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Challenging an arbitration award



Challenging an arbitration award
2014 NY Slip Op 08850, Appellate Division, Second Department

In a proceeding pursuant to CPLR Article 75, the employee petitioned the court to vacate an arbitration award finding that the employer's denial of the employee’s application for tenure did not violate a collective bargaining agreement between the City University of New York (CUNY) and the Professional Staff Congress, CUNY's statement of personnel practices, or CUNY's bylaws. The Supreme Court denied the petition and granted the CCNY’s motion to confirm the award. 

The Appellate Division sustained the lower court’s ruling, explaining a court may vacate an arbitration award pursuant to CPLR 7511(b)(1)(iii) only if it violates a strong public policy, is irrational, or clearly exceeds a specifically enumerated limitation on the arbitrator's power. The employee did not contend that the arbitrator clearly exceeded a specifically enumerated limitation on the arbitrator's power.

Addressing the employee’s contention that the arbitrator's award was irrational, the Appellate Division said that the employee’s claim was without merit as an award is irrational only where there is no proof whatever to justify the award. Here, however, the court found that the arbitrator's award was supported by ample documentary evidence in the record.

The employee also argued that the arbitration award was against public policy. The court said that this argument was, likewise, without merit as an arbitration award violates public policy "only where a court can conclude, without engaging in any extended fact-finding or legal analysis, that a law prohibits the particular matters to be decided by arbitration, or where the award itself violates a well-defined constitutional, statutory, or common law of this state."

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
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Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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