Pending Arbitration case-Really Insubordination?

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by ryredner, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. ryredner

    ryredner New Member

    I was discharged nearly a year ago for "gross insubordination," and am due to go to arbitration in May. I had a recent knee surgery before I returned to work, and on the second day back my knee began to bother me. A supervisor wanted me to go out and help another driver, but my knee was swollen and in a lot of pain. The supervisor told me I was was failing to follow instructions and that it was gross insubordination. I even offered to call my doctor and have a note faxed over at that very time. I was denied this. Other drivers even stated and wrote letters on my behalf stating that they could hear me express to the supervisor the condition of my knee, and was still discharged. It was also a non-working discharge, so I have had to pay my own benfits for my family and be without pay. It has been extremely difficult for me and my family, and just doesn't seem right. Has anyone else dealt with a case similiar to this? If so, what happened? Any input would be great.

  2. dilligaf

    dilligaf IN VINO VERITAS

    Based on what you have said here and assuming that you have not left out other details you should not have any problems.
  3. chopstic

    chopstic New Member

    hmmm... injuries are even important to supervisor's. At my center if anyone shows the slightest bit of back or shoulder pain they will remove them from the job and either send them home or put them on light duty. The last thing a supervisor wants is an injury on the job. Are you sure there is not more to the story?
  4. trickpony1

    trickpony1 Well-Known Member

    ....are you saying your supes are also orthopedic surgeons/specialists?
  5. Red Dawn

    Red Dawn Member

    if you have letters then i would say call the ups 800 number and report him
  6. JonFrum

    JonFrum Member

    Trick, most supes are not specialists. They're GPs. They render expert medical opinions on the whole range of conditions, often without even doing and exam, running tests, or taking x-rays. Some also diagnose over the phone; a skill even real doctors don't claim to have.
  7. JonFrum

    JonFrum Member

    Ryan, lawyers would love this case. You have a visibally swollen knee, a documented recent surgery on said knee, and your supervisor not only wants you to do your job, he wants you to help someone else!!! Ca-ching!!!

    Does your job and the job of helping the other guy involve you operating a vehicle, by any chance?
    What does your local Safety Committee say about your case?
  8. ryredner

    ryredner New Member

    I guess they assumed I was faking because I didn't want to work. That's the only thing I could come up with. The supervisor definitely is not a medical specialist. The other thing that is interesting about my case, is the fact that my supervisor under oath at my panel hearing, admitted to telling me that he would try to give me a lighter load , and let me have some time off during that first week back to work from surgery, since I was doing him a favor coming back early because they were short drivers. He knew that too much work too fast could pose a problem. Right after the supervisor discharged me for "insubordination", I called my boss and reminded him of the deal we made about having a lighter work load this week because of my knee, and told him of the fact about my knee being swollen and causing me pain. He refused to listen to me and stated he stood behind the decision. Here I am still feeling helpless, not knowing what I should do next.

  9. Braveheart

    Braveheart New Member

    Hire a lawyer. Call and make a complaint to the division of worker's compensation.

    It should be a violation of state law.

    File a grievance of course.

    good luck.
  10. ryredner

    ryredner New Member

  11. ryredner

    ryredner New Member

    Yes it was going to involove going back out on the road and delivering 20 residentials.
  12. chopstic

    chopstic New Member

    that doesn't even make sense!

    I'm saying the sups at my building don't take any chances when there might be an injury. It doesn't take a doctorate degree to figure out joint pain is not healthy.
  13. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    There is something about this that bothers me. You are going to arbitration for refusing to go out on road? I hate to tell you, but that is insubordination. You work as instructed, then file.

    Now, there are mitigating issues. Your return to work early. Who said it was early? You? The doctor? Who? Why?

    Was this a workers comp injury or one that happened off the clock?

    Secondly, did you go see a doctor that day after you refused to go out and deliver? If not, why not?

    Did you call a shop steward in on this conversation, or did you just handle it yourself? I am assuming that you just plain refused to do his instructions. A very stupid move on your part.

    Those other drivers, did any have less seniority than you? Or are you the one at the bottom.

    See, the problem I have with this story is that there is no way UPS would open itself up to serious issues like you have posted here, no way. And if they did, the first hearing would have solved the issue very quickly, and you would have been back to work.

    The very fact that you are now in arbitration(the last stage after others being deadlocked) is not a good sign, and is an indication to me that there are serious issues you have forgotten to mention.

    Not trying to bust your chops, but I have been through this with too many drivers to smell when I am not getting the whole story, and nothing but the facts.

    As far as what your sup swore under oath, it has no bearing on the discussion. You refused a direct order, regardless of what that order was. And from the sound of it, you handled it all on your own, never ever a good idea.

    So from what I suspect is missing from your story, and where you are at the hearing level, I would say you can kiss your job goodbye.

    Arbitrators very very rarely ever overlook insubordination, regardless of the reason.

  14. ryredner

    ryredner New Member

  15. ryredner

    ryredner New Member

    Yes I saw a doctor that day as well as the next day, and was taken back off work. The surgeon from out of the area is the one that said it was too early to go back work. Yes there are lower seniority drivers then me who were on the clock and at the building. There was no way I could go back out wth my knee in that condition. I didn't want to injur my knee any further, and ruin the surgery I just had. The knee was extremely swollen. I told him over and over again that I couldn't go back out because of my knee. The supervisor was a new on-car supervisor. I was not offered a shop steward. They said that a lower seniority driver who was unloading packages during the conversation would be enough. My case went on to arbitration because there is medical documentation from my doctor and because the union said I had no union representaion. The union lawyer says I have a strong case, but I guess we'll wait and see what happens.
  16. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    You will be fine!We just had an arbitration ruling were a driver called back to the center and said he was sick. The center manager told him to continue working. After talking with his doctor the driver called back again and was told to continue working. At this point the driver brought his truck back and was heading to the hospital. The center manager wanted him to take a fitness for duty. The driver wanted to go to his doctor first. Ups fired him! Now ups is back paying him in full for all time lost!
  17. gandydancer

    gandydancer New Member

    Where in "Northern, Ca"?

    The failure to provide a steward when one was requested ought itself be enough to dispose of the insubordination allegation.

    What level referred you to arbitration?
  18. ryredner

    ryredner New Member

  19. ryredner

    ryredner New Member

    Went to panel hearing & they deadlocked! All the company voted for the company, and all the union for me. They thought it was huge that i didn't have union rep when they discharged me, but the company states they didn't have to. In my discharge letter i received from ups, it said that a lower seniority driver who overheard the conversation was union representation.
  20. ryredner

    ryredner New Member