Synopsis By: Golick - Proceeding Author: Donald W. Cohen, John E. Dunsford, Robert J. Mignin

Dunsford posits that Carroll Daugherty’s “seven tests” of just cause are misleading in substance and distracting in application, and disputes that the tests are part of the “common law” of arbitration: the tests were developed in the context of the railroad industry and ought not govern in the private sector, where arbitration hearings are de novo. The practical limitations of the tests are explored, as are the dangers of strict adherence to rigid tests. Atty. Cohen supports Dunsford’s thesis; he proffers that the test should be whether a reasonable person, considering all relevant circumstances, would find sufficient justification in the employee’s conduct to warrant discharge. Atty. Mignin disagrees, suggesting that the unbridled discretion sometimes exercised by arbitrators has tarnished management and labor relations. He suggests that the test of just cause should be whether there was a good-faith business reason for disciplining the employee.