Benefits denial upheld due to labor dispute participation
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Thursday, September 3, 2020

Benefits denial upheld due to labor dispute participation

By Payroll and Entitlements Editorial Staff

A teachers' union and 51 individual employees appealed a lower court judgment affirming the Commission's determination that the employees in question were not entitled to benefits because their employment was due to a labor dispute other than a lockout. As the union and the school board negotiated a successor collective bargaining agreement, the employees continued to work under the terms of the prior CBA. When the parties were unable to reach an agreement, a strike ensued, and the employees filed for benefits. When the strike ended, the employees returned to work. According to the court, the record contained no evidence that the Board ever threatened to implement the terms of its last, best and final offer. The record was clear that the union could have pulled the strike notice, obtained clarification, and refiled the strike notice after 10 days if it were necessary. It also contained evidence that the claimants could have continued to work under the terms of the prior CBA while continuing to pursue a resolution. Thus, the Commission's decision was upheld by the court and the lower court's decision denying benefits was affirmed (Ohio Association of Public School Employees v. UCRC, Ohio Ct. of App., Fifth Dist., Tuscarawas Cty., No. 2020 AP 02 0005, August 10, 2020).

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