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Worker Wants Full 10th Circ. To Review Bad Union Advice Suit

September 5, 2022
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Law360 (September 2, 2022, 5:39 PM EDT) — A deaf former letter carrier is seeking to revive allegations that her union misguided her about how to accuse the U.S. Postal Service of disability discrimination, urging the full Tenth Circuit to breathe new life into litigation rejected by a Colorado federal judge and a three-judge appellate panel.

In a 22-page brief filed Thursday, Lynda Hickey said the full court should review the case because it presents a novel question: Does bad advice on handling a workplace dispute constitute a breach of a union’s duty of fair representation when the union isn’t representing the worker in the dispute?

Hickey believes the answer to that question is “no.” As such, she argued, her claim that the National Letter Carriers Union violated Colorado state law by giving her incorrect information about filing discrimination charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission should not be preempted by the federal National Labor Relations Act’s section on fair representation.

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