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Melding external law with the collective bargaining agreement

A description of the various means by which statutory claims may be invoked in a labor arbitration. Arbitrator Bogue recommends methodologies that arbitrators might use to assure a full and accurate development of the statutory issues — one that will withstand the scrutiny of judicial appeal.

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Arbitration and relentless legalization in the workplace

An examination of the ways in which the tendency to legislate infiltrates the arbitration process. In addition to cases considering aspects of the National Labor Relations Act, there is a steady flow of cases dealing with areas of statutory regulation of the workplace: wage and hour, safety and health, pension and welfare benefits, and equal …

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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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A review and suggested synthesis of the Howlett/Meltzer debate over the extent to which arbitrators should consider the law in interpreting contracts. Moves from the obvious case where the contract explicitly references the law, to intermediate cases where the law informs the meaning of unclear language, to the debate begun at the prior year’s Academy …

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Reiterates position previously taken that, where there appears to be an irrepressible conflict between a labor agreement and the law, the arbitrator typically should follow the agreement and ignore the law, leaving application of the law to courts and administrative agencies. The author rejects the Mittenthal formula (1968, p. 42) and suggests it runs contrary …

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Reiterates position previously taken – that arbitrators are bound by the law. Rejects the Mittenthal formula (1968, p. 42). Cites arbitrators’ decisions on both sides of the debate. Discusses cases where courts have considered the merits of awards.

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The role of law in arbitration: Discussion

Discusses areas where Mittenthal, Meltzer, and Howlett are in accord regarding the role of law in arbitration. (See immediately previous articles.) Suggests that, in the vast majority of cases, all three approaches would reach the same result. Also suggests that courts, rather than arbitrators, enforce contracts, and that arbitrators merely interpret contracts. Notes parties could …

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Statement of the chairman of the committee on law and legislation

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