Teamsters Local 700 has fought hundreds of wrongful termination cases and in the last few years, there have been a few cases at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) that have finally come to fruition. Three JTDC members have been recently reinstated after Local 700 brought these cases to arbitration and won.
Member case #1
A member worked at the JTDC for approximately 14 years as a Rapid Response Specialist (RRS) before being wrongfully terminated on July 7, 2015. The JTDC claimed the member knowingly turned on his body camera to record a meeting with a disciplinary investigator. The Union determined that the member accidentally turned the camera after he heard something beep by the battery pack and thought he turned the camera off. The member was a steward at the time and was asked to provide union representation for another member during this meeting. He wouldn’t do anything to impede an investigation and the recording would have no value to him since he had no access to it. This was just a malfunction and human error.
On June 20, 2019, an arbitrator decided there was not sufficient evidence that the proved this member engaged in the conduct for which he was disciplined. The arbitrator ordered the JTDC to make the member whole, including for any losses resulting from his termination.
Member case #2
A member was terminated on July 16, 2018 after the JTDC claimed she was in violation of the attendance policy. During the course of her employment with JTDC, which began in 2015, the member was certified as eligible for intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) due to several different health conditions. This certification allowed for intermittent leaves of various lengths and frequencies. The JTDC claimed that the member had exhausted her FMLA time and had tardy and/or unexcused absences during the month of May 2018. The Union contended that some of the absent/tardy days were due to an emergency condition/medical procedure, which she had no control over.
On May 23, 2019, an arbitrator decided that the JTDC did not have just cause to terminate this member. Along with getting her job back, the arbitrator reduced the member’s discipline to a 10-day suspension and ordered that she be made whole, including restoration of 64 FMLA hours she is entitled to.
Member case #3
The third member worked at JTDC as a Youth Development Specialist (YDS) since 2004. In June of 2016, he was suffering hypertension from his type II diabetes and was unable to work, as authorized by his doctor, until he could get the disease under control. After a few months of listening to doctor’s orders and missing some days of work, he applied for disability benefits through the County and received all of the approvals he needed. JTDC accused the member of violating multiple policies due to unexcused absences and he was terminated in early January 2017. The Union found that the JTDC was not reasonable in terminating him because they were still processing his original grievance and many of his absences were covered under his disability benefits.
On June 11, 2019, an arbitrator decided that the member should be reinstated to his job as a YDS at the JTDC with full seniority.
“This is what we do as Teamsters,” said Business Agent and Local 700 Trustee Rosalind Tennent, who currently represents the JTDC membership. “Fighting for our members’ livelihood and well-being is what keeps us going every day. We are beyond thrilled that these members will be working again and got the justice they deserved. We will never stop fighting for what is right.”