Some procedural defects that bar the vacating of the arbitrator’s award

Some procedural defects that bar the vacating of the arbitrator’s award
Beals v New York City Transit Authority, 2012 NY Slip Op 02784, Appellate Division, First Department

The Beals decision by the Appellate Division, First Department, sets out a number of procedural defects that defeated the employee’s efforts to vacate an adverse arbitration award.

First, said the Appellate Division, the arbitrator “properly declined” to apply the collective bargaining agreement's statute of limitations for filing disciplinary charges as, pursuant to its terms, the statute of limitations did not commence to run while an investigation of the conduct leading to the disciplinary charges against employee was under way. Further, said the court, “any error by the arbitrator in interpreting the facts or applying the law on this issue did not provide a basis for vacatur of the award.”

Other procedural defects noted by the Appellate Division barring granting the employee’s petition seeking to the vacate the award in this instance included:

1. An individual waives his or her claims that the arbitrator should have enforced his or her witness subpoenas by failing to seek a stay of the arbitration and a court ruling compelling compliance and by continuing with the arbitration;

2. An arbitrator's erroneous evidentiary rulings with may support vacatur only if the evidence would have been pertinent and material; and

3. The employee’s failure to cite any provision in the collective bargaining agreement to support his or her contention that the arbitrator exceeded a restriction on his or her power.

The decision is posted on the Internet at: