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7th Circuit holds dispute is a matter for national labor board

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that only the National Labor Relations Board has authority to hear a complaint from employees who brought a hybrid suit against an employer and labor union.

In Beverly K. Copeland, et al. v. Penske Logistics LLC; Penske Logistics, Inc.; and Chauffeurs, Teamsters, Warehousemen and Helpers Local Union Number 135, No. 11-1955, former employees of Penske Logistics filed suit, dissatisfied with the compensation package Penske offered them when it lost its contract with The Indianapolis Star, its only customer. The company provided transportation services for the newspaper. The hybrid suit claimed that Penske failed to provide its employees all the benefits available to them under its contract with The Star. The suit also claimed that the union should be held liable for failing to bargain with Penske in good faith to secure the extra benefits for the employees.

In the 7th Circuit opinion, Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote: “As a hybrid action, it is doomed by the fact that the plaintiffs do not even contend that Penske Logistics failed to implement the collective bargaining agreement.”

The appellate panel also held that the good faith claim is a matter only under the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board. It affirmed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants in the matter of fair representation. Citing lack of subject matter jurisdiction, it remanded for dismissal of the claim that the union failed to engage in good faith bargaining.  

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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