State Labor Board Finds MassDOT Failed to Promote Candidates Due to Union Activity

July 31, 2017

In a unanimous ruling on July 31, 2017, the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board (CERB) affirmed a hearing officer's decision that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation retaliated against two members of the United Steelworkers, Local 5696 by failing to promote them because of their protected union activity. Pyle Rome partner Al Gordon O'Connell prosecuted the case on behalf of the Union.

One of the two employees was a long-time union representative who had actually bargained with MassDOT over the position at issue. The other was a former grievant who had successfully challenged an unjust disciplinary decision. The CERB ultimately held that MassDOT failed to prove any legitimate reason for bypassing the candidates since the Department offered conflicting reasons for the promotion decisions.

MassDOT will now be required to promote one of the candidates directly and to re-run the promotional process for the other.

Related Attorney: 
Alfred Gordon O'Connell
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