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Transport Workers Union, Local 100 v. New York City Transit Authority

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK APPELLATE DIVISION SECOND JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT


December 9, 2008

IN THE MATTER OF TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION, LOCAL 100, ETC., RESPONDENT,
v.
NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT AUTHORITY, APPELLANT.

In a proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 75 to vacate an arbitration award dated December 8, 2006, the New York City Transit Authority appeals from an order of the Supreme Court, Kings County (Schack, J.), dated November 27, 2007, which granted the petition and directed the reinstatement of Edward Miller to the position of track specialist with back pay and lost benefits.

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.

This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.

WILLIAM F. MASTRO, J.P., PETER B. SKELOS, RUTH C. BALKIN and CHERYL E. CHAMBERS, JJ.

(Index No. 8752/07)

DECISION & ORDER

ORDERED that the order is reversed, on the law, with costs, the petition to vacate the arbitration award is denied, and the proceeding is dismissed.

Given the policy in this State of "supporting arbitration and discouraging judicial interference with either the process or its outcome" (Matter of New York City Tr. Auth. v Transport Workers Union of Am., Local 100, AFL-CIO, 99 NY2d 1, 6), judicial review of an arbitration award is narrowly circumscribed, and the award "may not be vacated unless it is violative of a strong public policy, is irrational, or clearly exceeds a specific limitation on an arbitrator's power" (Matter of New York City Tr. Auth. v Transport Workers' Union of Am., Local 100, AFL-CIO, 306 AD2d 486; see Matter of Henneberry v ING Capital Advisors, LLC, 10 NY3d 278, 284; Maross Constr. v Central N.Y. Regional Transp. Auth., 66 NY2d 341, 346; Matter of Sprinzen [Nomberg], 46 NY2d 623, 629; Binghamton Civ. Serv. Forum v City of Binghamton, 44 NY2d 23, 28).

Contrary to the determination of the Supreme Court, the arbitrator did not exceed her power or render a completely irrational award in this case. Rather, the award was consistent with the evidence presented, the applicable federal regulations governing drug testing for transit employees (see 49 CFR 40.151; 49 CFR 40.191; 49 CFR 40.193), and the parties' collective bargaining agreement. Accordingly, the Supreme Court erred in re-weighing the evidence, making new credibility determinations, and substituting its judgment for that of the arbitrator (see Matter of New York City Tr. Auth. v Transport Workers' Union of Am., Local 100, AFL-CIO, 6 NY3d 332).

MASTRO, J.P., SKELOS, BALKIN and CHAMBERS, JJ., concur.

20081209

© 1992-2008 VersusLaw Inc.



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