Duffy v. Legal Aid Society

Alternative Dispute Resolution

New York Law Journal


Judge Paul Crotty

Duffy's job at the Legal Aid Society was terminated in 2008 because he lied in an investigation into a female coworker's sex harassment claim. The matter was arbitrated. Despite reinstating Duffy's employment—and imposing two years' probation—the arbitrator warned him that his behavior as to female coworkers must not recur, and that "[h]e flout[ed] this admonition at his peril." Duffy's 2010 termination—for again having "amorous interactions" with a female coworker—was again challenged and arbitrated. The Legal Aid Society removed Duffy's March 2012 state court Article 75 action to vacate the arbitrator's Jan. 30, 2012 decision finding his discharge proper. District court denied Duffy vacatur. He satisfied neither requirement for a hybrid §301-fair representation claim set out in White v. White Rose Food and Bishop v. Hotel & Allied Services Union Local 758. The court also rejected Duffy's claim that the 2012 decision was "confusing and arbitrary." Despite using different words, the arbitrator's admonitions to Duffy in the two decisions conveyed the same meaning. Further, Duffy's conclusory claims that the 2012 arbitration decision was procured by fraud were supported only by his asserted version of the facts.

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