UNION UNFAIR PRACTICES; DUTY OF FAIR REPRESENTATION – In General; Prima Facie Case
Single Topic for Decision 1882E
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800.01000 – In General; Prima Facie Case
The duty of fair representation imposed on an exclusive representative extends to grievance handling. In order to state a prima facie case for the breach of this duty, the charging party must demonstrate the exclusive representative’s conduct was arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith. In order to state a prima facie case of arbitrary conduct violating the duty of fair representation, a charging party must, at a minimum, include an assertion of sufficient facts from which it becomes apparent how or in what manner the exclusive representative’s action or inaction was without a rational basis or devoid of honest judgment. Although “mere negligence” does not typically constitute a breach of the duty of fair representation, it may support such a finding if the individual interest at stake is strong and the union’s failure to perform a ministerial act completely extinguishes the employee’s right to pursue his claim.