UPS Denied Member’s Right to Return to Work
This case involves a regular full-time 22.3 Teamster who, unfortunately, was hurt on the job last year while working out of the company’s Nashua, NH facility. He recovered to the point that his own doctor cleared him to return to work in January of 2017 but that wasn’t good enough for UPS. They delayed his return by 21 days and, in the process, he was denied compensation he would have earned if UPS simply followed Article 20 of the contract. Teamster Business Agent Kevin Foley stepped in and helped.
When recently discussing this issue, Foley stated:
“For years, when UPS violated Article 20 in terms of the 3rd doctor procedure thereby delaying our member’s right to return to work after an injury, whether work- related or not, they would do the right thing and pay the grievances. Recently, with the new UPS, they adopted the delay, then deny, payment approach. Local 25 just arbitrated a similar case and won which was a huge victory for all our UPS members in the U.S. In this case, like the Local 25 case, there was no affirmative contractual defense for the company. The negotiated language is clear and must be followed. Historically, the reason the Union proposed this language and demanded UPS agree to it at the table years ago was because they were doing things like this to our injured UPS members. In this case I filed a grievance for our member and I got him paid the difference between what he received while on workers’ compensation and what he would have earned had UPS not violated the contract for those 21 days, plus his Health and Welfare and Pension contributions.
Let me be clear, once our UPS members are cleared by their doctor, the contract is clear: UPS has three (3) days to get him/her to the company doctor or we go to a 3rd doctor to settle the matter within ten (10) days. The company in this case simply ignored the Union’s request for the 3rd Doctor, causing a violation and triggering the Union’s grievance. If the 3rd doctor agrees with our member’s own doctor, UPS must back pay to the date our member was cleared by his doctor. If, alternatively, the 3rd doctor agrees with the company doctor, there would be no liability on the company’s end. It’s important that if you should get hurt on-the-job, you report it right away and seek medical treatment through the doctor of your choice. If there are any problems at all you should be calling me directly at my office 603-625-9731 Ext 18 for assistance.”