United Steel, Paper & Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial & Service Workers International Union (“United”) brought an action in the Western District of Pennsylvania to enforce an arbitration award directing Neville Chemical Company to reinstate and make whole an employee it had improperly discharged. This appeal followed the District Court’s Orders granting United’s motion for summary judgment and ordering Neville to pay damages including back pay.
The Third Circuit held that because Neville failed to raise the argument of that the employee was physically unable to work during the arbitration, it had waived the physical limitations defense to the enforcement of the arbitration award. The Third Circuit cited its previous decision in United Food and Chemical Workers Union Local 1776 v. Excel Corp., 470 F.3d 143 (3d Cir. 2006) noting that “‘the long-established federal policy of settling disputes by arbitration would be seriously undermined if parties kept available information from the arbitrator and then attempted to use the information as a defense to compliance with an adverse award.’” The Court further noted that the argument had not been timely raised under Pennsylvania law and that the back-pay damages imposed by the District Court did not amount to a second opportunity to receive unemployment compensation. United Steel, Paper & Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial & Service Workers International Union v. Neville Chemical Co., No. 07-3554 (3d. Cir. Oct. 30, 2008).