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Joseph Slovinec v. Communications Workers ) of America

May 16, 2012

JOSEPH SLOVINEC, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS ) OF AMERICA, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard W. Roberts United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter is before the Court on defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint. For the reasons discussed below, the motion will granted.

I. BACKGROUND

From March 2008 until his termination on January 8, 2009, plaintiff was employed "as a fundraiser for Share Group," a client of which was The Humane Society of the United States. Compl. ¶ 1. Plaintiff was charged with entering a false pledge:

On 11/25/08 [plaintiff] put through a pledge of $10 per month by check for an HSSP donor. The donor and client complained that the donor never made a pledge, and that further the call was rude. The complaint was to the extent that [a] request was made that [plaintiff] make no more calls for [The Humane Society].

Id., App. E (Employee Accountability Form, Share Group, Inc., dated January 8, 2009).

Pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement between Share Group and the Communications Workers of America ("CWA"), a four-step grievance process was available for the resolution of "problems aris[ing] in the workplace," id., App. A-2 (excerpt from collective bargaining agreement), the first two steps of which are relevant to this action:

Step One

An employee may choose to present his/her own grievance, without the Union's involvement on his/her behalf. If an employee presents his/her own grievance, the Union retains the right to review any adjustment or resolution of such grievance to insure that it is consistent with the provisions of this Agreement. Grievances must be presented initially with the Associate Call Center Director within 21 days of the occurrence that gave rise to the grievance. If Share [Group] does not agree, in writing, to the remedy requested there shall be, within 7 days, a meeting including the Union Steward and/or representative, the employee, if he/she chooses to attend, and the Associate Call Center Director. The Associate Call Center Director shall give a written response to the grievance within 7 days of that meeting.

Step Two

If the grievance has not been settled through Step One, it may be resubmitted in writing to the Director of Labor Relations . . . within 7 business days of the receipt of the Associate Call Center Director's final response to Step One. Within 14 days there shall be a meeting including the Union Steward and/or representative, the grievant, if the Grievant chooses to attend, and the Director of Labor Relations . . . . The Director of Labor Relations . . . will give his/her written response to the grievance within 7 business days of that meeting.

Id., App. A-3 (excerpt from collective bargaining agreement). If the grievance is not settled in Step Two, either CWA or Share Group may request mediation from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (Step Three), and if mediation is unsuccessful, CWA may submit the grievance to the American Arbitration Association (Step Four). Id.

Plaintiff presented a grievance with respect to his termination. See Compl., App. (Statement of Occurrence, Local 2336, dated January 8, 2009). Share Group provided "no written response" after Step One of the grievance process, and CWA's representative "did not provide one" either. Id. ΒΆ 7. CWA "appealed the . . . grievance to the second step of the process on January 16, 2009." Id., App. D (Letter to plaintiff from Michael B. Harris, President, Communications Workers of America, Local 2336, dated March 26, 2009). According to plaintiff, CWA violated the collective bargaining agreement when its representative did not allow plaintiff to attend a January 23, 2009 meeting with a Share Group representative at Step Two of the grievance process, during which Share Group decided "to uphold ...


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