Under the Terms of Collective Bargaining Does An Employee Have Standing to Challenge An Arbitration Award

In Leon v. Boardman Twp., 100 Ohio St.3d 335, 2003 Ohio 6466, 800 N.E.2d 12, Andre Leon, a patrolman for Boardman Township, was discharged for a violation of the township's residency requirements for its civil-service employees. Id. at P1. Leon's discharge was arbitrated on his behalf by his union under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement between the township and the union. Id. An arbitrator reduced Leon's discharge to a suspension and conditionally reinstated Leon; however, the arbitrator declined to award back pay. Id. After Leon's union denied Leon's request for further representation concerning the issue of back pay, Leon moved the trial court to vacate the arbitration award pursuant to R.C. 2711.10. Id. Finding that Leon lacked standing, the trial court dismissed Leon's application, id. at P2, and an appellate court affirmed the trial court's judgment. Id. at P3. Thereafter, the Supreme Court of Ohio allowed a discretionary appeal to consider whether Leon "was a 'party' to the arbitration regarding his discharge for purposes of R.C. 2711.10." Leon, at P5-6. The Leon court observed that to resolve the issue presented for review the court was required to "decide whether and under what circumstances an employee has standing to challenge an arbitration award rendered pursuant to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement between the employee's union and employer." Id. at P6.