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USPS v. National Ass'n of Letter Carriers, 481 U.S. 1301 (1987)

United States Postal Service v. National Ass'n of Letter Carriers

No. A-820

Decided May 21, 1987

481 U.S. 1301


The United States Postal Service's application to stay the Court of Appeals' mandate enforcing an arbitrator's decision requiring the reinstatement of Edward Hyde as a postal worker is granted pending the filing and disposition of a petition for certiorari. Although the District Court set aside the arbitrator's reinstatement order following Hyde's discharge for dereliction of duty upon his conviction for unlawful delay of the mail, the Court of Appeals reversed, holding that a court may set aside an arbitrator's award as contrary to public policy only when the award itself violates established law or compels unlawful conduct. There is a reasonable probability that four Justices will eventually grant certiorari in this case, since the Court has already granted certiorari in Misco, Inc. v. United Paperworkers International Union, 768 F.2d 739 (CA5), cert. granted, 479 U.S. 1029, which raises the identical public policy issue. Moreover, the stay equities favor the applicant, whose ability to impress the seriousness of its mission upon its workers would be seriously impaired by even the temporary reinstatement of a convicted criminal, whereas continuation of the status quo will not work an irreparable harm on Hyde, who has not worked for the applicant for almost three years.

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