Attorney Brian Maser successfully defended the Reading Municipal Light Department

Attorney Brian Maser successfully defended the Reading Municipal Light Department in an important case at arbitration relating to the Department’s decision to bypass a first class lineworker for promotion to the position of Leader Lineworker in favor of a first class lineworker with less seniority.  After a two day hearing and the submission of post-hearing briefs, Arbitrator Betty E. Waxman, Esq. found that the Department did not violate the contract when it appointed the junior lineworker following an assessment process that included a written test, a practical test, a Department interview, and peer review.  While the Union attempted to show that the Department had historically appointed the senior lineworker to the position of Leader due to their seniority and without an assessment, Arbitrator Waxman found that the plain language of the contract provided the Department with the discretion not only to develop an assessment process for lineworkers, but the Department also had the discretion to promote without regard to seniority, so long as the Department’s promotional decision was not exercised in a manner that was arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of discretion.  At arbitration the grievant presented various excuses for his poor performance in the written and practical tests, all of which the arbitrator found to be not credible in light of the testimony offered by the Department’s witnesses and evidence offered at the arbitration, as a whole.  We are pleased to have secured this result for the Department as it confirms the Department’s discretionary authority to promote without regard to seniority and upholds and enforces the Department’s management right to develop and administer an assessment to determine qualifications for promotion.

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