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Arbitration Process is Between Employer and Union, not Employer and Employee

In the cases of Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1385 v. Greater Dayton Regional Transit Auth., 2023-Ohio-4330 and Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1385 v. Greater Dayton Regional Transit Auth., 2023-Ohio-4331, an appellate court held that employees were not capable of ratifying payments by an employer pursuant to an arbitration award in a CBA dispute when the employees were not parties to the arbitration.

In this case, the company argued that the arbitration award was paid in full because, even if the payments were not the correct amount, the employees ratified the amounts by cashing the checks. In response, the union argued that the employees did not have the authority to ratify the payments because they were not a party to the arbitration as such claims were, and could only be, pursued by the union.  Because the party to the arbitration, i.e., the union, did not ratify the incorrect payments, such an argument could not be used to preclude the union from asking the court of common pleas to modify the arbitration award. The appellate court agreed with the union.

In support of its decision in favor of the union, the appellate court explained that “an aggrieved worker whose employment is governed by a collective bargaining agreement * * * will generally be deemed to have relinquished his or her right to act independently of the union.” 2023-Ohio-4330 at ¶ 17. The appellate court further explained that it is well within the jurisdiction of a trial court to hold an evidentiary hearing to determine the award that should have been given, in the absence of the arbitrator determining the exact amount during arbitration.

To read this case, click here.

NOTE: These two cases were decided by the same court and have almost identical fact patterns. For clarity, they have been consolidated into one blog post.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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