Service Employees International Union, Local 1107 v. Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital

Filing 16

ORDER denying ECF No. 6 Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. IT IS SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Howard D. McKibben on 01/05/2017. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - KW)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION, LOCAL 1107, ) ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) ) vs. ) ) NORTHEASTERN NEVADA REGIONAL ) HOSPITAL, ) ) Defendant. ) _________________________________ ) 3:16-cv-00476-HDM-WGC ORDER 18 Before the court is defendant Northeastern Nevada Regional 19 Hospital’s (“NNRH”) motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of 20 Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (ECF No. 6). 21 International Union, Local 1107 (“Local 1107") responded (ECF No. 8) 22 and NNRH replied (ECF No. 10). 23 I. 24 Plaintiff Service Employees Background Local 1107 and NNRH entered into a collective bargaining 25 agreement (“CBA”) on February 6, 2013, in which the parties agreed to 26 resolve grievances pursuant to the grievance procedures listed in the 27 CBA. 28 NNRH terminated Karla Dittrich without just cause. On October 28, 2015, Local 1107 filed a grievance alleging that 1 1 The grievance was processed through the grievance procedure and 2 NNRH denied the grievance on January 18, 2016. 3 January 19, 2016, Local 1107 demanded arbitration as required under 4 Step 4 of the grievance procedure. 5 representative began preparing a request to the Federal Mediation and 6 Conciliation Service (“FMCS”) for the panel of arbitrators, but was 7 unable to complete the request that day due to difficulty with the 8 payment processing. 9 submitted on January 27, 2016. NNRH subsequently refused to arbitrate 10 the Dittrich grievance because the request to the FMCS was not 11 processed timely. The following day, on On January 26, 2016, a Local 1107 The request for the panel of arbitrators was 12 On June 13, 2016, Local 1107 filed a complaint in the Fourth 13 Judicial District Court, Elko County, Nevada, for declaratory relief 14 and an order compelling arbitration of the Dittrich dispute. 15 complaint requests that the court enter a declaratory judgment that 16 Local 17 “presented” or “appealed” the grievance in notifying NNRH of its 18 intent to proceed to arbitration and that its FMCS request is not 19 “presenting” or “appealing” a grievance. Alternatively, the complaint 20 requests the court enter a declaratory judgement that Local 1107 21 substantially complied with the time requirements when it attempted 22 to submit its FMCS request on January 26, 2016. 23 on August 10, 2016, pursuant to federal question jurisdiction. 24 II. 1107 met the time limit requirement in the CBA The when it The case was removed Standard 25 In considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim 26 under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the court must accept as true all 27 material allegations in the complaint as well as all reasonable 28 inferences that may be drawn from such allegations. 2 LSO, Ltd. v. 1 Stroh, 205 F.3d 1146, 1150 (9th Cir. 2000). 2 complaint also must be construed in the light most favorable to the 3 nonmoving party. Shwarz v. United States, 234 F.3d 428, 435 (9th Cir. 4 2000). 5 test the legal sufficiency of the complaint. 6 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). 7 if it is certain that the plaintiff will not be entitled to relief 8 under any set of facts that could be proven under the allegations of 9 the complaint. Cahill v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 80 F.3d 336, 338 (9th 10 The allegations of the The purpose of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) is to Navarro v. Block, 250 The court can grant the motion only Cir. 1996). 11 “[A] court may consider evidence on which a complaint necessarily 12 relies if: (1) the complaint refers to the document; (2) the document 13 is central to the plaintiff’s claim; and (3) no party questions the 14 authenticity of the copy attached to the . . . motion.” 15 v. Nat’l Educ. Ass’n., 629 F.3d 992, 998 (9th Cir. 2010). 16 III. Argument 17 Daniels-Hall NNRH does not dispute that the Dittrich termination grievance 18 arises under the terms of the CBA. 19 1107 does not have the right to arbitrate the grievance because the 20 union failed to process the grievance within the requisite time limits 21 established in the CBA. 22 presumptively for the arbitrator to decide. 23 Article 24 jurisdiction. 25 26 27 28 11.8 removes Rather, NNRH argues that Local NNRH recognizes that procedural issues are the question from It argues, however, that the arbitration panel’s Article 11.8 provides: Any grievance not presented or appealed within the time limits and in the manner provided in Section 2 hereof shall be deemed to have been settled or abandoned, is expressly excluded from arbitration, and shall not be presented to any arbitrator. NNRH contends that on the basis of this provision the court is 3 1 required to consider the timeliness of the Local 1107’s request 2 arbitration. 3 time limits set forth in Step 4 of the grievance procedure. 4 addresses the procedure for advancing a grievance to arbitration: 5 6 7 8 9 10 NNRH argues that Local 1107 failed to comply with the Step 4 If the grievance is not resolved at Step 3, the grievance may be referred to arbitration upon written request by the Union, which request must be made in writing to the Employer within fourteen (14) calendar days after receipt of the Employer’s Step 3 answer. In the event arbitration is requested, the Union will, within seven (7) calendar days after notice to the Hospital, submit to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) a completed form R-43 with a copy to the Employer, requesting that the Service furnish both parties with a panel of eleven (11) arbitrators having hospital arbitration experience. 11 12 13 Article 11.2. Local 1107 had seven calendar days, until January 26, 2016, to 14 submit to FMCS a completed form R-43 with a copy to NNRH. 15 Local 1107 did not complete the form until January 27, 2016, NNRH 16 argues that the grievance was “not presented or appealed within the 17 time limits” provided in Article 11.2. 18 1107 is not entitled to the relief it is seeking, an order requiring 19 NNRH to arbitrate the grievance, and moves to dismiss the complaint 20 pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Because Thus, NNRH argues that Local 21 “‘Procedural questions which grow out of the dispute and bear on 22 its final disposition’ are presumptively not for the judge, but for 23 an arbitrator to decide.” 24 U.S. 79, 84 (2002) (citing John Wiley & Sons, Inc. v. Livingston, 376 25 U.S. 543, 557 (1964)). Whether Local 1107 complied with the grievance 26 procedures 27 arbitrability to be decided by the arbitrator, not by the court. John 28 Wiley & Sons, 376 U.S. at 556 n. 11 (issue of timeliness is to be set forth in Howsam v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., 537 the CBA 4 is an issue of procedural 1 decided by the arbitrator notwithstanding the provision stating “[t]he 2 failure by either party to file the grievance within the [4-week] time 3 limitation shall be construed and be deemed to be an abandonment of 4 the grievance”); United Food & Commercial Workers Union, Local 770 v. 5 Geldin Meat Co., 13 F.3d 1365, 1368 (9th Cir. 1994) (quoting United 6 Steelworkers v. Warrior & Gulf Navigation Co., 363 U.S. 574, 582 7 (1960) (“[J]udicial inquiry . . . must be strictly confined to the 8 question whether the reluctant party did agree to arbitrate.”); 9 Hospital & Institutional Workers Union Local 250 v. Marshal Hale 10 Memorial Hospital, 647 F.2d 38, 40 (9th Cir. 1981) (holding that the 11 contract interpretation necessary to resolve procedural questions is 12 properly left to the arbitrator). 13 Hospital & Institutional Workers Union Local 250 v. Marshal Hale 14 Memorial Hospital, 647 F.2d 38, 40 (9th Cir. 1981) is instructive as 15 the hospital in that case argued that “the Union is foreclosed from 16 demanding arbitration by its failure to comply with the contractual 17 grievance procedure.” In that case, the agreement provided that “[n]o 18 grievance shall be presented to arbitration unless the demand for 19 arbitration is presented by a party in writing to the other party 20 within thirty (30) calendar days of the other party’s final written 21 response in Step 2 of the grievance procedure.” 22 Circuit held the issue of the alleged non-compliance with processing 23 the claim under the agreement were procedural questions, and that 24 “[t]he contract interpretation necessary to resolve these questions 25 is properly left to the arbitrator.” 26 CBA, like the provisions cited in Hospital & Institutional Workers 27 Union Local 250, does not overcome the presumption that procedural 28 issues are for the arbitrator to decide because “it does not provide 5 Id. at 41. Id. at 41. The Ninth Article 11.8 of the 1 explicit language demonstrating that the parties to the collective 2 bargaining agreement did not intend the arbitration panel to have 3 authority to decide issues of timeliness.” 4 Metal,, Inc. v. Sheet Metal Workers Int’l Union, Local 104, 933 F.2d 5 759, 764 (9th Cir. 1991). Goss Golden W. Sheet 6 Local 1107 stated a claim for which relief may be granted, namely 7 that the court should compel arbitration under the CBA based on NNRH’s 8 alleged violations of the agreement. Accordingly, defendant’s motion 9 to dismiss (ECF No. 6) is DENIED. 10 IT IS SO ORDERED. 11 DATED: This 5th day of January, 2017. 12 13 ____________________________ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 6

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?