Ed Taylor and Laura Edwards successfully persuaded an arbitrator to uphold a client’s termination of an employee and reject a union’s allegations that the termination and other adverse employment actions were motivated by anti-union animus. The client terminated the employee based on allegations the employee, a teacher, had physically and emotionally abused a student. Although the parties presented different versions of the pre-termination events, the arbitrator was convinced that the employee’s conduct toward the student constituted just cause for termination.
During the four-day hearing, the union focused on establishing that unlawful union animus was a motivating factor in the decisions to discipline and discharge the employee. However, the arbitrator found that none of the factors used by courts and the NLRB to identify anti-union animus as a motivating factor were present. Pointing to the inconsistent testimony of union witnesses and the reasonableness of the discharge and disciplinary actions, the arbitrator concluded that the union failed to establish that anti-union animus was a motivating factor in disciplining and discharging the employee.