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Solved: Irmis Achong was hired as a nursing attendant by the

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Irmis Achong was hired as a nursing attendant by the Cabrini Medical Center. He became a member of Local 1199 of the Drug, Hospital and Health Care Employees Union, which was party to a collective bargaining agreement. On November 4, 1986, a disoriented and distraught patient kicked Achong as he walked by her stretcher. Cabrini claimed that Achong, who had a perfect performance record at the time, responded by cursing the patient and striking her on the leg. Cabrini discharged Achong for abusing the patient. The collective bargaining agreement provided for binding arbitration whenever the union and Cabrini disagreed upon whether an employee was discharged for just cause. Achong’s dismissal was submitted to arbitration. The arbitrator made careful and detailed findings and conclusions. He ruled that just cause did not exist for Achong’s discharge, because Cabrini failed to establish how hard Achong touched the patient. He believed that summary discharge was too harsh a penalty under the circumstances and based on the limited evidence. He ruled that Achong should be reinstated without back pay (thereby imposing a forfeiture of nine months’ pay) and given a warning against future conduct. Cabrini brought an action in federal court to set aside the award, and the union brought an action in state court to confirm. Cabrini removed the state action to federal court, where the two actions were consolidated. Cabrini argued that the award violated public policy based on a statutory provision that patients “shall be free from mental and physical abuse.” Should the award be confirmed?

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