Employer has the right to establish reasonable rules to insure the effective functioning of its operations, employees are entitled to adequate notice of the Company's regulations and the penalty that will be imposed for violation [sic]."
Moreover, the arbitrator found that the policy was applied in a discriminatory manner. The company currently employs related individuals in the same location who have not been discharged. There was no evidence that the company was planning to terminate any of these employees.
I therefore find that the arbitrator's award draws its essence from the collective bargaining agreement and must be enforced. The defects in the employer's application of its anti-nepotism policy found by the arbitrator make his conclusion that Ms. Ryan was terminated without just cause perfectly rational. There is also nothing irrational in the arbitrator's finding that the just cause for discharge clause should be read as modifying the relevant sections of the management rights clause. The management rights clause clearly states that the employer's rules and regulations must be consistent with the rest of the agreement. The just cause for discharge clause is part of the agreement and it was rational for the arbitrator to conclude that the employer's arbitrary and discriminatory invocation of a vague policy to justify this termination was inconsistent with the concept of just cause. Indeed, a contrary finding by the arbitrator could not have been rationally derived from the contract's language and the law of the shop.
Defendant's motion for attorney's fees, however, will be denied. "[A] court may assess attorneys' fees . . . when the losing party has 'acted in bad faith, vexatiously, wantonly, or for oppressive reasons. . . .'" Alyeska Pipeline Serv. v. The Wilderness Soc., 421 U.S. 240, 258-59, 44 L. Ed. 2d 141, 95 S. Ct. 1612 (1975). There is no evidence that plaintiff's behavior falls into any of the above categories.
An appropriate order follows.
AND NOW, this 2nd day of May, 1985, it is hereby ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is DENIED and defendant's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED, except that portion of defendant's motion which seeks counsel fees is DENIED.
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