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Consensus holds that arbitrators may rely upon federal law as an aide in contract interpretation, and may rest a decision on federal law when expressly contractually authorized to do so. Less certain is when, if ever, an arbitrator should follow federal law rather than the labor agreement. Sovern asserts that an arbitrator may follow federal …

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The labor contract or the submission agreement defines the authority of the arbitrator. Arbitrators should visit statutory law in a case only if they possess special competence in that area and the issue is within the scope of the submission agreement, and should otherwise restrict themselves to the contract. To the extent that an arbitrator …

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