Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Jonah Seeman v. Service Employees Union

March 3, 2011

JONAH SEEMAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SERVICE EMPLOYEES UNION, GRACIE GARDENS OWNERS CORP., AND COOPER SQUARE REALTY, INC. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cedarbaum, J.

OPINION

APPEARANCES:

Jonah Seeman alleges that Gracie Gardens Owners Corp., the residential cooperative that employed him for forty years, suspended him without good cause and refused to reinstate him even though he had satisfied the conditions of his suspension. These acts, Seeman claims, violated the collective bargaining agreement ("CBA") between Gracie Gardens and his union, Local 32BJ, Service Employees International Union ("the Union").*fn1 He also claims that the Union breached its duty of fair representation by committing various errors during the arbitration of his claim against Gracie Gardens. Seeman seeks to overturn the results of the arbitration. Gracie Gardens and the Union have moved for summary judgment. For the following reasons, the motions are granted.

BACKGROUND

The following material facts are undisputed except where noted.

Seeman is a 63-year-old man who has been diagnosed with a developmental disorder. Despite his limitations, he worked for over forty years as a doorman in an apartment building owned by Gracie Gardens. His job required him to monitor people entering and leaving the building, assist residents, log visitors and packages into a log book, and respond to emergencies. Over the course of his entire tenure at the Gracie Gardens, Seeman never requested an accommodation for diminished mental capacity.

In December 2007, following various complaints about Seeman's body odor and bad breath, Seeman received a oneday suspension from work ("the 2007 suspension"). The Union, which acted as the bargaining agent for Gracie Gardens' building staff, filed a challenge to Seeman's suspension ("the 2007 grievance") through a grievance and arbitration procedure set out in the CBA. After Seeman initiated the 2007 grievance, the Union dispatched an investigator to look into the circumstances of the suspension. The Union tried to reach a settlement with the employer but was unsuccessful.

On February 8, 2008, Seeman was suspended again, this time because his locker had become infested with bedbugs ("the 2008 suspension"). Seeman's residence, which he shared with his elderly mother, turned out to be similarly bug--ridden. Gracie Gardens prohibited Seeman from returning to work until he could confirm that his residence had been inspected, treated, and certified by a licensed examiner as free of bedbugs.

Three days later, Seeman filed a grievance through the Union for the 2008 suspension ("the 2008 grievance"). Assisted by the Union investigator who was already handling the 2007 grievance, Seeman attempted to satisfy the Gracie Gardens' demands by proving that he and his mother had moved to a new, bedbug--free apartment. To that end, he gave Gracie Gardens copies of the lease for the new apartment, a receipt showing the purchase of new furniture, and a receipt from an exterminator confirming that the new apartment was clean of bedbugs.

Nevertheless, Gracie Gardens refused to reinstate Seeman to his position. It demanded that Seeman produce an exterminator's inspection not only of his new apartment, but also of the apartment in which he had been living when the suspension began. Because Seeman had by this time vacated his previous apartment, he was unable to meet this demand. He therefore remained on suspension while the Union continued to negotiate for his reinstatement.

On February 27, 2008, while the Union's negotiation was ongoing, Seeman's mother drafted a letter of resignation for her son. It stated in relevant part:

I am writing this letter to let you know that after 41 years of service, I have to retire so I can take care of my mother who is 81 years old and can not take care of herself. Please sent [sic] all the pay that is coming to me including my pay for 5 weeks vacation.

Thank you very much it was very nice working for you.

Seeman read the letter, signed it, and mailed it to Gracie Gardens. He did not, however, inform ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.