Kevin P. McGovern
Township of Montclair v. Office of Professional Employee’s International Union, Local 32
NJSBM Case No. 16-0256
In an arbitration decision issued in December 2017, MSM successfully defended and reversed the termination of client Shaune Jones of Montclair Township. Mr. Jones, employed at the Township’s Animal Shelter, was accused of sexual harassment by a fellow employee in September 2014, an accusation which he adamantly denied. The claim was investigated by the Township and resulted in his termination in December 2014. His termination was immediately grieved by his union, the Office of Professional Employee’s International Union Local 32, who sought reinstatement and back pay with benefits for Mr. Jones. When the Township denied the grievance, the proceeding moved into arbitration, where firm partner Kevin P. McGovern argued that the Township’s case was entirely based on hearsay and therefore failed to meet the just cause standard required in termination proceedings. The arbitrator agreed and found that the Township terminated Jones without just cause. He reinstated Jones with back pay “calculated as if he had not been terminated,” and re-credited Jones with any sick days, vacation days, personal leave, and seniority he had at the time of the termination.