Statute of Limitations of a Hybrid Claim for Unlawful Termination
In DelCostello v. Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, 462 U.S. 151, 103 S. Ct. 2281, 76 L. Ed. 2d 476, the Supreme Court held that under 301, a hybrid claim brought against an employer for unlawful termination and against a union based on an implied theory of inadequate representation, is governed by a six month statute of limitations. 462 U.S at 172.
In McKee v. Transco Products, Inc., 874 F.2d 83, 85, the plaintiffs brought action against their employer for an alleged breach of the collective bargaining agreement and were deemed to be governed by a six month statute of limitations.
The Second Circuit classified McKee as a hybrid case because the plaintiffs filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board due to unsatisfactory union representation.
A claim brought under 301 of the LMRA allows for an action to be commenced on a "hybrid case" theory, but the claimant must make a prima facie case to show an alleged breach of the collective bargaining agreement by the employer and an allegation that the union failed to properly represent its member. (Paul McKee v. Transco Products, Inc., 874 F.2d 83, 86).
A hybrid claim can exist even though a suit is only filed against the employer. However, the cause of action against the union and the employer must be intimately joined. 874 F.2d 83, 86.