Flaherty & Hood senior attorney Brandon Fitzsimmons successfully represented the City of Owatonna in a recent disciplinary grievance arbitration before the State of Minnesota, Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) pursuant to the Public Employment Labor Relations Act (PELRA). This arbitration arose from a grievance filed by Teamsters Local No. 320, the union for sergeants in the city’s police department, challenging the city’s demotion of a sergeant to the position of police officer due to the employee’s repeated poor performance over the course of the previous four years.

At the arbitration hearing, the city presented evidence and arguments supporting its claims that the demoted employee repeatedly failed to perform the duties and assume the responsibilities of his supervisory position. The union argued that the city put the employee in a position to fail, and failed to provide adequate direction and support to the employee. Arbitrator Charlotte Neigh, however, found that the city had established that it had attempted to guide and assist the employee in performing the required tasks of his position. Arbitrator Neigh issued an award denying the union’s grievance in its entirety. This award is available at http://bit.ly/cUrSh5.