Q & A

Written on 08/06/2022
Will Aitchison

From Michigan:
Question: I just finished listening to this month’s podcast. At the end of the podcast, you talked about what if the sergeant had no supervisory responsibilities over the employee and you said in a non-union environment it doesn’t matter.

Is the same true in a union shop if we also do not have a policy on nepotism but we have a conduct unbecoming policy?

Answer: In a union environment, we rarely see bans on spouses working for the same employer so long as there’s no direct supervisory-subordinate re­lationship. Since the matter is negotiable in union states, we doubt an arbitrator would award such a restriction.

From Massachusetts:
Question: I’m going through a wrongful termination case. The teamsters are representing me. If I am awarded back pay, and get my job back which is what we are asking for, would I be able to keep the settlement? I have been working at another job since the termination. Would I have to pay back what I have made at my current job?

Answer: Typically, the issue of whether “interim earnings” should be set off against back pay will be a matter within the discretion of the arbitrator, civil service board, or whoever is hearing the appeal. Occasionally collective bargain­ing agreements will contain a clause dealing with “interim earnings,” but those clauses are fairly rare.


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