The New York Appellate Division determined that timing is everything, in reversing an Administrative Law Judge’s decision that ignored a contrary decision of a labor arbitration. In the Matter of the Claim of Matthew Bruce, the ALJ refused a collective request of the parties to adjourn a hearing addressing the claimant’s discharge, pending the issuance of an arbitrator’s decision. Following the conclusion of the judicial hearing, but prior to the issuance of the judge’s order, the arbitrator issued a decision finding that the discharge of the employee was appropriate. The judge failed to take judicial notice of the arbitration award, and thereafter ruled contrary to the arbitrator.
On appeal, the judge’s decision was reversed, with the Appellate Division remanding so that the evidence and circumstances of the arbitration award could be considered by the ALJ.