ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE [AI] IS NOT USED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN PREPARING NYPPL SUMMARIES OF JUDICIAL AND QUASI-JUDICIAL DECISIONS

March 13, 2023

Judicial review of a petition seeking the vacating of an arbitration award

The Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association [Union] and the City of Long Beach [City] entered into a collective bargaining agreement [CBA] covering the period from July 1, 2004, through June 30, 2010, and thereafter continued pursuant to the Triborough Law, Civil Service Law § 209-a[1][e].* Firefighters and any municipal employees assigned to the fire department were covered by the CBA.

City appointed several paramedics, and unilaterally set their terms of employment. Union filed a grievance and, when the grievance was denied, filed a demand for arbitration. City's efforts to stay the arbitration with respect to Union's grievance as related to the paramedics were unsuccessful.**  

Ultimately the arbitrator issued an award determining that City violated certain provisions of the CBA when it set contrary terms and conditions of the paramedics' employment. Union commenced this proceeding pursuant to CPLR Article 75 to confirm the arbitration award while City cross-moved pursuant to CPLR 7502(a)(iii) to dismiss the petition or, in the alternative, to reassign the petition to the Justice who presided over the prior proceeding, and to vacate the arbitration award. 

Supreme Court granted the Union's petition to confirm the award and denied the City's cross-motion. The City appealed.

The Appellate Division, noting that "Judicial review of arbitration awards is extremely limited", said a court may vacate an arbitrator's award that "violates a strong public policy, is irrational or clearly exceeds a specifically enumerated limitation on the arbitrator's power, citing (Matter of New York City Tr. Auth. v Transport Workers' Union of Am., Local 100, AFL-CIO, 6 NY3d 332, and other decisions. Additionally, the Appellate Division opined "an award may be vacated where 'it exhibits a 'manifest disregard of law'" and the burden is on the movant to establish grounds for vacatur by clear and convincing evidence.

Finding that the City failed to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the arbitration award should be vacated on the grounds that [1] it was irrational; [2]  exhibited a manifest disregard of the law; [3] that the arbitrator had engaged in misconduct or [4] that the award violated public policy, held that Supreme Court had properly granted Union's petition to confirm the arbitration award and had properly denied the City's cross-motion to vacate the award.

* See Matter of Professional Staff Congress-City Univ. of N.Y. v New York State Pub. Empl. Relations Bd., 7 NY3d 458).

** See Matter of City of Long Beach v Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Assn., Local 287, 161 AD3d 855.

Click HERE to access the Appellate Division's decision posted on the Internet.

CAUTION

Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.
THE MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. AGAIN, CHANGES IN LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND NEW COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MAY AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS LAWBLOG. THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THE USE OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE, OR CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING SUCH MATERIAL, DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.
New York Public Personnel Law Blog Editor Harvey Randall served as Principal Attorney, New York State Department of Civil Service; Director of Personnel, SUNY Central Administration; Director of Research, Governor’s Office of Employee Relations; and Staff Judge Advocate General, New York Guard. Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material posted to this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor NYPPL and, or, its staff and contributors are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is urged to seek such advice from a knowledgeable professional.
New York Public Personnel Law. Email: publications@nycap.rr.com