A union that negotiates retroactive pay increases into a collective bargaining agreement has no duty to seek such pay for employees who quit their jobs before the contract was reached, the New York Supreme Court held in a June 24 decision. See Toppin v. Sheridan-Gonzalez, Case No. 653349/2014 (Sup. Ct., New York County) (Hagler, J.).
Darryl Toppin, who had quit his job as a nurse at the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, sued the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) claiming that in negotiating its 2014 collective bargaining agreement, the union breached its duty of fair representation by seeking retroactive payments for still active employees and for those who had since retired but not for those who had resigned since the prior contract. The court threw out the suit, which Toppin had hoped to pursue as a class action, finding that NYSNA owed no duty to those who had left the bargaining unit and, in any event, that the union acted permissibly in not seeking retroactive pay for former employees.
Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP partner Peter D. DeChiara litigated the case for NYSNA.