UFCW 1445 And Pyle Rome Win Trifecta Of Discharge Cases Against Stop & Shop

April 07, 2018

In the first few months of 2018, Pyle Rome attorneys have assisted UFCW, Local 1445 in overturning three separate discharge decisions at Stop & Shop. Pyle Rome attorney Al Gordon O'Connell is the General Counsel of Local 1445, and his partners Tod Cochran and Ian Russell handled the cases at arbitration.

In the first case, Stop & Shop fired an employee for allegedly violating the store policy regarding cigarette sales to minors, but the facts of the case showed that the employee actually followed the policy by using her judgment to determine whether the purchaser was too young. Stop & Shop only fired the employee because it got caught in a federal FDA raid and wanted to blame the employee instead of its own lax enforcement policy. In the second case, the Company fired a deli worker for violation of the store coupon policy even though the cashier who sold her the products was the one responsible for the improper sales and even though the deli worker was unaware of the improper discounts. In the third case, the Company fired a 20-year veteran employee for allegedly stealing a pair of reading glasses, but the evidence established that the employee only used the glasses to complete his work and that he had simply not yet had the opportunity to pay for them.

All three cases have in common the fact that Stop & Shop blindly applied different store policies without taking the time to determine whether the employees actually violated those policies. The Company thus made knee-jerk decisions to discharge employees who actually didn't do anything wrong. These cases further underscore the importance of unionized workplaces since the employees would have had no recourse to challenge these wrong-headed discharge decisions if not for their union contracts.