John Vreeland Defeats Union’s Application to Vacate Labor Arbitration Award.

June 4, 2013

Earlier this year, John R. Vreeland, member of the firm’s Labor Law Practice Group and Director of the Firm’s Wage & Hour Compliance Group, defended one of the Firm’s hospital clients in a labor arbitration challenging its hiring decisions. The union argued the labor agreement’s promotional provision entitled bargaining unit employees to a right of first refusal for vacant positions and allowed the hospital to hire from the outside only when there were no qualified internal applicants. The arbitrator agreed with the employer’s position and denied the grievances. The union filed an application to vacate the arbitrator’s award in New Jersey Superior Court alleging he improperly executed his powers in his interpretation of the relevant contract language and by ignoring the union’s evidence of past practice and bargaining history. The employer counterclaimed for the confirmation of the arbitrator’s award. Mr. Vreeland argued the case before Judge Paul Innes, P.J.Ch., on May 31, 2013. Judge Innes agreed with the employer’s position, denied the union’s application and confirmed the arbitration award. The decision has long-term significance for the client as it has retained its right to hire more qualified outside applicants for vacant positions.