New Jersey Institute of Technology v. Office of Professional Employee’s International
Union, Local 32
Docket No. AR-2017-026
In an arbitration decision issued in January 2015, MSM successfully defended and reversed the termination of Jennifer Nina by her employer, the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Ms. Nina was an employee in the Account Payable Department for 10 years, tasked with managing, maintaining, and paying the University’s invoices in a timely manner. After a series of disagreements with the Department Director, Maria La Lima, between April and June of 2015, NJIT ultimately terminated Ms. Nina. Her termination was immediately grieved by her union, the Office of Professional Employee’s International Union Local 32, who sought reinstatement with pay back for Ms. Nina. Firm partner Kevin P. McGovern contended that just cause was absent because the University failed to follow principles of progressive discipline. McGovern pointed to Ms. Nina’s strong 10-year service record at NJIT, and convinced the arbitrator to reinstate Nina to employment and reduce her penalty to a suspension. Full back pay was awarded for her time lost, less the period of suspension.