United States District Court, D. Oregon
JOSEPH J. MUNGER, SR, Plaintiff,
CASCADE STEEL ROLLING MILLS, INC, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
F. BECKERMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Joseph J. Munger (“Munger”) brings this action
against his former employer Cascade Steel Rolling Mills, Inc.
(“Cascade”), alleging claims for violations of
the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), the Oregon
Family Leave Act (“OFLA”), the Oregon Sick Leave
Act (“OSLA”), and wrongful discharge. (ECF No.
before the Court is Cascade's motion for summary
judgment. (ECF No. 28.) The Court has jurisdiction over this
case under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and all parties have
consented to the jurisdiction of a U.S. Magistrate Judge
under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). For the following reasons, the
Court grants in part, and denies in part, Cascade's
motion for summary judgment.
twenty-three years, Munger worked as a billet crane operator
at Cascade's steel manufacturing facility in McMinnville,
Oregon. (Compl. ¶¶ 4, 7-8.) Munger was a member of
the United Steel, Paper and Forestry Rubber, Manufacturing,
Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Worker's
International Union, AFL-CIO, Local 8378
(“Union”). (Declaration of Anthony Kuchulis, Jan.
15, 2019 (hereinafter “Kuchulis Decl.”), Ex. 1 at
April 1, 2016, the Union and Cascade entered into a
collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”).
(Kuchulis Decl., Ex. 2 at 1.) The CBA recognized the Union as
the exclusive collective bargaining representative for all of
Cascade's employees at the McMinnville facility.
(Kuchulis Decl., Ex. 2 at 1.) Under the CBA, Cascade retained
the “right to hire, promote, demote, lay-off,
discipline, suspend or discharge employees for just
cause[.]” (Kuchulis Decl., Ex. 2 at 3.) The CBA
provided that “any dispute” “between the
Company [Cascade] and the Union or the employees represented
by the Union during the term of this Agreement . . . shall be
settled in accordance with” a three-step grievance
process. (Kuchulis Decl., Ex. 2 at 48.)
party was not satisfied with the grievance process, the CBA
allowed that party to request an arbitrator to settle the
dispute. (Kuchulis Decl., Ex. 2 at 49.) The CBA identified
the scope of the arbitrator's authority as follows:
A. . . . The arbitrator shall have the sole right to
determine the rules and procedures to be followed in the
conduct of the arbitration hearing, and the arbitrator shall
have authority to make decisions only with respect to the
grievance and issue submitted and shall have no authority to
modify, add to, alter or detract from the terms of any
provisions of this Agreement.
D. The award of the arbitrator shall be final and binding on
(Kuchulis Decl., Ex. 2 at 49.)
September 2015 and again in May 2016, Munger requested leave
for a medical condition. (Compl. ¶ 9.) Cascade suspended
Munger on October 26, 2015, and terminated him on June 2,
2016. (Compl. ¶ 11.)
9, 2016, the Union filed a grievance on Munger's behalf,
alleging that Cascade fired Munger for exercising his FMLA
and OFLA rights, not for just cause. (Kuchulis Decl., Ex. 8.)
The parties first tried to resolve the dispute informally,
but ultimately proceeded to arbitration on March 23, 2017 in
accordance with the CBA. (Kuchulis Decl., Ex. 1.)
the course of the arbitration proceeding, the parties offered
opening statements, witness testimony, and post-hearing
briefing. (Kuchulis Decl., Exs. 1, 10.) On July 7, 2017, the
arbitrator issued a written ruling, noting that the parties
“stipulate that the issue presented here is whether the
Company [Cascade] had ‘just cause to terminate Joe
Munger.'” (Kuchulis Decl., Ex. 11 at 8.) The
arbitrator concluded that Cascade ...