October 1999 Legal Update

LEGAL UPDATE
By: Louis D. Stober, Jr., Esq.
CSEA REGIONAL ATTORNEY

STOBER WINS HEMPSTEAD TERMINATION PAY ARBITRATION

Welcome to the inaugural edition of your CSEA Town of Hempstead Local 880 Legal Update. In the months to come I will focus on interesting cases dealing with your Collective Bargaining Agreement or impacting upon your employment.

By way of background, I am the Regional Attorney for CSEA. I have been the Regional Attorney for over fifteen years. As the Regional Attorney, my office handles all disciplinary and grievance arbitrations as well as any other litigation the Local may have against the Town. My services are paid for by your Union with no out of pocket cost to you. My office is a full service firm ready to represent the members at any time.

This month's update will focus on a recent arbitration I won involving Termination Pay. Section 14 (e) of the CSEA Agreement details how many vacation days an employee can receive payment for when s/he leaves Town service. Section 24 (d) of the CSEA Agreement states that any employee scheduled to work 50% or more of his/her work schedule during premium hours, or has received shift differential for 50% or more of his/her work year, shall receive shift differential for the purpose of computing vacation, sick, personal and bereavement leave.

In the arbitration case I won, the Town took the position that since Section 14 does not state that an employee gets paid shift differential on the vacation time to be paid at termination, there is no obligation to pay the shift differential.

In a decision that adopted my arguments, the Arbitrator held that the Town was indeed obligated to pay shift differential on the vacation leave of qualified employees upon separation of service. Once the vacation time with the premium time was credited to the employee's leave entitlement bank, the Town could not take the premium time away.

This was an important, precedent setting decision that has now been followed in all subsequent cases. The lesson here is if you believe that your rights under the Collective Bargaining Agreement have been violated, contact your CSEA representative immediately. We are here to protect your rights and to get every benefit you are entitled to under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.