The opinion of the court was delivered by: KELLY
On September 23, 1983, plaintiff Joan Taschner filed a three count Complaint seeking injunctive relief, compensatory and punitive damages.
The Complaint alleged that defendant Thrift-Rack, Inc. ("Thrift-Rack" or "Company") violated the collective bargaining agreement by refusing to permit plaintiff to return to her prior warehouse position from her position as an outside driver-salesperson. (Count I). The Complaint also alleged that defendants James Hill ("Hill")
and Teamsters Local Union #384 ("Union" or "Local 384") violated the duty of fair representation owed plaintiff in failing to process a grievance filed against her employer, Thrift-Rack. (Count II). In addition, plaintiff alleges that the actions of the defendants were in retaliation against plaintiff both for her support of a group known as Teamsters for Democratic Union ("TDU"), which had run union reform candidates against the incumbent administration, and for grievances previously brought by her. (Count III).
Presently before the Court are Defendants' Motions to Dismiss or For Summary Judgment. In support of their motions defendants contend that:
2. Punitive damages may not be recovered in an action brought pursuant to the Labor-Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 151 et seq.
3. The National Labor Relations Board has exclusive jurisdiction to determine the alleged unfair labor practices as set forth in plaintiff's Complaint.
4. Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, 29 U.S.C. § 411.
5. Plaintiff has failed to exhaust her internal union remedies.
For the reasons which follow, Defendants' Motions to Dismiss Counts I and II are granted. Defendant Thrift-Rack's Motion to Dismiss Count III is granted and Defendant Union's Motion to Dismiss Count III is denied.
The plaintiff, Joan Taschner, worked for Thrift-Rack in its warehouse for nine years, from 1973 until September, 1982. Teamsters Local Union 384 is and was at all times relevant to this action, the exclusive bargaining representative for certain employees, including plaintiff, of Thrift-Rack, Inc. From April, 1979 until September, 1982, she was employed as a checker-receiver in the warehouse.
In September, 1982, plaintiff successfully cross-bid for an outside job of driver-salesperson. While working outside as a driver, she developed a severe neurodermatitis condition and allergic reaction, requiring doctor's supervision and medication. As a result, she was unable to perform her job as an outside driver, but was physically able to perform her prior inside warehouse position.
Plaintiff twice requested Thrift-Rack to transfer her to her prior warehouse position which was still open, or to any other warehouse position. The Company, however, rejected her requests on grounds which plaintiff alleges were not provided for in the Collective Bargaining Agreement and which were in violation of past practice. In support of this contention, plaintiff avers that Company personnel assured her that she could transfer back to the warehouse from an outside driver's position under existing ...