United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER
Y. Pearson United States District Judge.
are cross-motions for summary judgment filed by Plaintiff
Tecnocap, LLC (“Employer”) (ECF No. 12) and
Defendant Graphic Communications Conference/International
Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 24M (“Union”)
(ECF No. 14) regarding the enforceability of an arbitration
award. The Court has been advised, having reviewed the
record, parties' briefs and applicable law. For the reasons
that follow, the Court grants Employer's motion to vacate
the arbitrator's award, and denies Union's motion to
enforce the award and for attorneys' fees.
is a corporation with facilities in Warren, Ohio. ECF No. 1
at PageID #: 1. Randy Witherow (“Witherow”) is an
employee of Employer at its Warren facility. ECF No. 12-1 at
PageID #: 200. Witherow is a member of Union. ECF No. 12-1 at
PageID #: 200. Employer and Union are parties to a Collective
Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”), which includes an
“Attendance and Tardiness Control Program.” ECF
No. 12-1 at PageID #: 200. This program is a no fault, point
based, absenteeism policy, which calls for the dismissal of
an employee who earns 12 points under the Attendance Program.
ECF No. 12-1 at PageID #: 200.
show that Witherow has a long history of attendance related
issues. ECF Nos. 12-11; 12-12; 12-13; 12-14; 12-15. On
September 29, 2015, Witherow was terminated from employment
after he reached 13 points pursuant to the Attendance
Program. ECF No. 12-1 at PageID #: 200. Union then filed a
grievance over Witherow's termination on October 2, 2015.
ECF No. 12-1 at PageID #: 200. As a result, Union, Employer,
and Witherow negotiated and agreed to a Last Chance Agreement
(“LCA”) on October 8, 2015 as resolution to the
grievance. ECF No. 12-5. Under the LCA, Witherow was placed
on an eight-month probationary period, during which time he
could not miss work without prior approval. ECF No. 12-5 at
PageID #: 260.
March 10, 2016, Witherow was again terminated by Employer
after he violated the LCA due to an unapproved absence. ECF
No. 12-6. On March 15, 2016, Union filed another grievance on
behalf of Wintherow alleging “unfair treatment.”
ECF No. 12-7 at PageID #: 263. The parties were unable to
resolve the March 15th grievance. As a result, an arbitration
was held on July 14, 2016 before Arbitrator John M. Felice
(“Arbitrator”). ECF No. 12-1 at PageID #: 201.
September 15, 2016, the Arbitrator issued a decision in favor
of Union and Witherow, ordering Witherow's return to
employment with back pay. ECF No. 12-22. Employer then filed
a motion for reconsideration on September 26, 2016. ECF No.
12-1 at PageID #: 205. Arbitrator denied Employer's
motion on October 14, 2016. ECF No. 12-1 at PageID #: 205.
December 5, 2016, Employer initiated the instant lawsuit by
filing a Complaint and Motion to Vacate Arbitration Award
(ECF No. 1). Union then filed an Answer (ECF No. 7) seeking
to affirm the arbitration award. Subsequently, both parties
filed cross-motions for summary judgment. ECF Nos. 12; 14.
Standards of Review
Motion for Summary Judgment
judgment is appropriately granted when the pleadings, the
discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any
affidavits show “that there is no genuine dispute as to
any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also
Johnson v. Karnes, 398 F.3d 868, 873 (6th Cir. 2005).
The moving party is not required to file affidavits or other
similar materials negating a claim on which its opponent
bears the burden of proof, so long as the movant relies upon
the absence of the essential element in the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on
file. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322
(1986). The moving party must “show that the non-moving
party has failed to establish an essential element of his
case upon which he would bear the ultimate burden of proof at
trial.” Guarino v. Brookfield Twp. Trustees.,
980 F.2d 399, 403 (6th Cir. 1992).
the movant makes a properly supported motion, the burden
shifts to the non-moving party to demonstrate the existence
of genuine dispute. An opposing party may not simply rely on
its pleadings. Rather, it must “produce evidence that
results in a conflict of material fact to be resolved by a
jury.” Cox v. Ky. Dep't. of Transp., 53
F.3d 146, 150 (6th Cir. 1995). The non-moving party must, to
defeat the motion, “show that there is doubt as to the
material facts and that the record, taken as a whole, does
not lead to a judgment for the movant.”
Guarino, 980 F.2d at 403. In reviewing a motion for
summary judgment, the court must view the evidence in the
light most favorable to the non-moving party when deciding
whether a genuine issue of material fact exists.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587-88 (1986); Adickes v. S.H. Kress &
Co., 398 U.S. 144 (1970).
United States Supreme Court, in deciding Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986), stated that in
order for a motion for summary judgment to be granted, there
must be no genuine issue of material fact. Id. at
248. The existence of some mere factual dispute between the
parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported
motion for summary judgment. Scott v. Harris, 550
U.S. 372, 380 (2007). A fact is “material” only
if its resolution will affect the outcome of the lawsuit. In
determining whether a factual issue is “genuine,
” the court must decide whether the evidence is such
that reasonable jurors could find that the non-moving party
is entitled to a verdict. Id. Summary judgment
“will not lie . . . if the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party.” Id. To withstand summary judgment, the
non-movant must show sufficient evidence to create a genuine
issue of material fact. Klepper v. First Am. Bank,
916 F.2d 337, 342 (6th Cir. 1990). The existence of a mere
scintilla of evidence in support of the non-moving
party's position ordinarily will not be sufficient to
defeat a motion for summary judgment. Id. This
standard of review does not differ when reviewing
cross-motions for summary judgment versus a motion filed by
only one party. U.S. SEC v. Sierra Brokerage Servs.,
Inc., 712 F.3d 321, 327 (6th Cir. 2013).
Review of an ...