"Past practice" has to be one of the most misused phrases in labor relations, seldom used correctly by labor or management. In the past three months, the Bureau of Mediation Services has published a trifecta of arbitration decisions which spell out how to effectively break a past practice, how to establish that one exists, and

Recently, Arbitrator James Scoville agreed a Minnesota employer was free to terminate a Veteran because of the Veteran’s departure from the Employer’s driving principles. Under Minnesota law, a public employer cannot terminate an honorably discharged Veteran without a Veteran’s Preference Hearing. (Minn. Stat. 197.46.) A Veteran’s Preference Hearing may occur before a Veteran’s Board

A warehouse fork-lift operator failed a random drug test, and was terminated from employment.  He worked for a beer and soft drink distributor, who had adopted a random drug testing policy for all safety sensitive positions.  At the hearing, the employee testified he had inadvertently ingested marijuana laced brownies at a private barbecue

It used to be that criminal charges and most certainly a criminal conviction, always led to termination from employment, especially in the public sector. This was at least in part due to a recognized sensitivity that taxpayers had a right to expect more from public employees. The trend is changing, evidenced by arbitration decisions awarding