Review of Court Decisions - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 39, No. 4
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
LABOR--FEDERAL SECTOR—SCOPE OF REVIEW
An arbitration award will not be subject to a greater standard of review when challenged by the Office of Personnel Management. Walton, a customs clerk, was removed tor failure to provide certain information on his job application. He chose to grieve the removal pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement in effect, rather than appeal through the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). The grievance proceeded to arbitration before Sutermeister, who determined that all the omissions and falsifications were not willful and that, because no other reason for discharge existed, removal was too severe a penalty. He thus reinsiated the gncvant, reducii^g the penalty to a 30-day suspension and awarding back pay. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) filed for reconsideration of the award, which the arbitrator denied. OPM then sought review of the award in court, alleging that the arbitrator erred in the application of civil service law. The court, in affirming the arbitrator's award, found no support for OPM's argument that an arbitrator is required to apply the same standard of discipline applied by the MSPB. The court underscored the "traditional labor policy of judicial deference to arbitrators' decisions." Devine v. Sutermeister, 724 F.2d 1 T58 (Fed, Cir. 1983).