On December 16, 2014, Senior Partner John Golper and Associate Eric Mueller received a favorable arbitration award on behalf of a largest California-based wholesaler-distributor of health and natural food products. The Company discharged a 27-year loading employee who was also a Union shop steward, for improperly and negligently loading and shipping product to the wrong customer.
The Union representing the employee grieved the discharge and argued that the conduct in question was not severe enough to justify terminating such a long-tenured employee. The Company argued that the employee had previously been given a written warning and further training on precisely the same performance failure that ultimately led to her discharge.
Further, the Company argued that they had provided the employee with every opportunity to improve her work performance and succeed at the Company by properly following the steps of the progressive discipline plan outlined in the collective bargaining agreement. The Arbitrator agreed with the Company and denied the grievance in its entirety, finding that there was just cause for the discharge and rightly stating that “seniority cannot prevent the company from applying the progressive discipline policy .”