The opinion of the court was delivered by: ALESIA
Before the court is defendant International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 710's ("the Union"), motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(b).
The court fully set out the facts of this case in its earlier opinion granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant employer and several individual defendants. See Gary v. Roadway Express, Inc., 941 F. Supp. 94, 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15843, 1996 WL 617318, *1-2 (N.D. Ill. 1996). Therefore, the court will not repeat the facts here.
The Union makes two arguments in support of its motion for summary judgment. First, it contends that the same reasoning that resulted in summary judgment for plaintiff's employer applies equally to the Union, and therefore should result in summary judgment for the Union. Second, it contends that plaintiff's case is a hybrid claim for breach of duty of fair representation against the Union and breach of a collective bargaining agreement against the employer, and that an employee must prevail on both aspects of a hybrid claim. Thus, the grant of summary judgment on one aspect requires a grant of summary judgment on the other aspect.
A. Whether the reasoning of the opinion granting plaintiff's employer's motion for summary judgment applies to the Union's motion for summary judgment
In his complaint against his employer, plaintiff alleged that his employer breached its collective bargaining agreement by failing to reinstate plaintiff to his former job and restore his seniority and benefits after the final decision-making body under the collective bargaining agreement ordered plaintiff reinstated to his former job.
In granting summary judgment in favor of the employer and individual defendants, the court found that plaintiff's claim for breach of the collective bargaining agreement did not present a case or controversy. The employer was not required to reinstate plaintiff to his job until plaintiff presented the employer with a medical release, which he had not yet done. Consequently, the employer had not had the opportunity to reinstate plaintiff to his former job or restore plaintiff's position of seniority, or to refuse to do either.
In addition, the court found that plaintiff had received all of the health and welfare benefits that initially were withheld, currently was receiving all of his benefits, and failed to show that he was damaged by the relatively short delay in receiving his benefits.
Finally, the court found that plaintiff's request for a declaration that his employer discharged him without just cause was moot, since the final decision-making body had already made the same declaration and cured the employer's illegal actions.
Against the Union, plaintiff alleges essentially that the Union failed to pursue plaintiff's various grievances fairly and adequately as it was bound to do by its duty of fair representation. Plaintiff alleges that this was because several Union officials were secretly hostile towards him because he filed charges against other Union officials.
Plaintiff's claim against the Union for breach of its duty of fair representation is factually and legally distinguishable from his claim against his employer for breach of the collective bargaining agreement. The claim against the Union relates to the Union's conduct during plaintiff's grievance procedures. The claim against the employer relates to the employer's conduct after plaintiff was ordered reinstated. Thus, the claims involve somewhat different time periods and events. Moreover, the legal bases of the two claims are different, and the proof required to sustain each claim is different.