Todd M. Siegel


In the realm of employment law, management and labor unions enter in collective bargaining agreements to establish employment terms including wages, hours, benefits and grievance procedures.' A typical grievance procedure provides that labor disputes will be resolved through arbitration. Courts are encouraged to defer to collective bargaining agreements. When disputes arise, employees and employers attempt to resolve matters themselves, and if this fails, labor unions intervene and submit grievances to arbitration. Generally, an arbitrator's decision is final and binding, but in limited circumstances the matter is ultimately litigated. One such limited circumstance arose when the courts developed a public policy exception to arbitration awards. Over the past decade, the circuits have disagreed about the proper application of the public policy exception. Exxon Shipping II is a prime example of one of the two competing views on when to apply this exception.



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