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An employer that was ordered by an arbitrator to reinstate an employee had the right to immediately fire the worker a second time after giving him back pay because the second firing was premised on conduct never addressed in the arbitration, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

In United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1776 v. Excel Corp., a unanimous three-judge panel held that Jose Diaz was “effectively reinstated” by the payment of back pay and that Excel had therefore fully honored the arbitrator’s decision and was not barred from firing Diaz a second time for conduct the arbitrator had never considered.

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