WILKEY, Circuit Judge:
These appeals are taken by the Guild on behalf of one of its members, Mrs. Winzola McLendon, from summary judgment of the District Court sustaining an arbitration award under procedures provided for by a labor contract between the Guild and the Post, and the denial by the District Court of the Guild's motion under Rule 60(b), Fed.R.Civ.P. to vacate the order granting summary judgment. The appellant Guild raises issues as to the scope of the arbitrator's authority, the refusal of the District Court to vacate the award because of
I. Nature and Origin of the Dispute
The Washington Post discharged Mrs. Winzola McLendon, one of its reporters, for submitting allegedly plagiarized material for publication in its 10 September 1967 issue. A grievance conference was held that same day, 19 October 1967, at which the Post representatives told the Guild that the reporter had been discharged for "plagiarism which we consider gross misconduct."
As the Guild informed its own members,
On the following day, 20 October 1967, the Guild wrote the American Arbitration Association, demanding arbitration and stating its position:
Pursuant to agreement, the Post wrote its discharged reporter, setting forth the grounds for its action, on 26 October 1967, stating:
The arbitrator rendered his award on 12 April 1968, finding:
II. The Issue and the Scope of the Arbitrator's Authority
The basic contention of the appellant is that the arbitrator went beyond the scope of his authority in rendering his award. Appellant contends that his authority ended when he found an absence of "gross misconduct" on Mrs. McLendon's part, and that he had no power to go further to hold that her conduct did, however, constitute "good and sufficient cause" for discharge. Accordingly, we are asked to vacate this latter determination, and order Mrs. McLendon's reinstatement with back pay and seniority rights unimpaired. The District Court refused to do so, and, for reasons that follow, we also conclude that this ground affords no relief to the appellant Guild.
In determining the scope of an arbitrator's authority we look to two sources: the collective bargaining agreement, and the submission of the parties to the arbitrator.
Article VI, paragraph (3), reads:
The clear language of this paragraph contains several alternative grants of power to the arbitrator. First, and basically, he is empowered to determine whether an employee was discharged "for good and sufficient cause." If he finds for the employee on this issue, he is empowered to order reinstatement of the employee or specific equivalent payments. If he finds for the company, then the employee remains discharged, but the employee is entitled to two weeks' notice (or payment in lieu thereof) and severance pay under Article X of the agreement. Second, on submission of the issue, the arbitrator undoubtedly is empowered to determine whether an employee was discharged "for willful neglect of duty or gross misconduct." If he finds for the company on this issue the employee loses any payment in lieu of notice and his severance pay under Article X.
If the arbitrator does not fully sustain the company's characterization of the employee's action precipitating the discharge as "willful neglect of duty or gross misconduct," then the arbitrator may either (a) find the discharged employee entirely innocent of the actions on which the charge of gross misconduct was predicated, i. e., a finding of an absence of "good and sufficient cause," and order reinstatement or the equivalent remedy; or, alternatively, (b) the arbitrator can hold "only that the discharge was not for willful neglect of duty or gross misconduct," i. e., that there was "good and sufficient cause" for the discharge, but that the employee's action precipitating the firing does not rise to the level of "gross misconduct." Carrying out this latter alternative, the employee is not reinstated, but is paid "sums due him at the time as severance pay under Article X of the Agreement. * * *" The first sentence of Article VI, paragraph (3), quoted above, makes it clear that whatever the "reason" for discharge, basically such reason must constitute good and sufficient cause for discharge.
As we made clear under the statement of the proceedings at the outset of this opinion, while the appellant Guild phrased the issue for the arbitrator in terms of "good and sufficient cause," the Post itself persisted in characterizing Mrs. McLendon's action as "gross misconduct." Whatever degree of culpability, the offense charged was plagiarism. Whether it rose to the level of "gross misconduct," thus causing a forfeiture of severance pay, or whether the offense could only be characterized as "good and sufficient cause" for the discharge, thus entitling Mrs. McLendon to severance pay and payment in lieu of notice, was a matter of characterization of the offense.
We think the arbitrator made a clear and specific finding, within both the terms of the contract provision and the
The consequences which flow from this arbitrator's finding are those provided in Article VI, paragraph (3), and Article X.
III. The Denial by the District Court of Appellant's Motion to Have the Award Vacated on the Ground of "Newly Available Evidence"
Appellant's motion in the District Court to have the order sustaining the arbitrator's award vacated and the cause remanded for a new arbitration hearing under Rule 60(b) (6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
Because subpoenas are not available in private arbitration proceedings, appellant was unable to compel Mrs. Chatham's attendance and testimony. Nevertheless, it was the Guild's bargain with the Post to have disputes over the discharge of employees settled by arbitration, with all of its well known advantages and drawbacks.
Furthermore, the mechanics of the arbitration process do not comport with the procedure espoused by the appellant. Arbitrators are not and never were intended to be amenable to the "remand" of a case for "retrial" in the same way as a trial judge. In La Vale Plaza, Inc. v. R. S. Noonan, Inc.,
These considerations demonstrate substantial cause for not applying Rule 60(b) remedies to final arbitration awards. Of course, neither Rule 60(b) per se nor, for that matter, any other of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure was ever designed to apply to proceedings in other than the United States District Courts.
In sum, we think that neither Rule 60(b) nor any judicially constructed parallel thereto was meant to be applied to final arbitration awards, and that the District Court was correct in denying appellant's motion.
IV. Exclusion of "Material" Evidence at the Arbitration
Appellant complains that at the hearing the arbitrator prevented it from showing that the report allegedly plagiarized by Mrs. McLendon was itself copied from historical sources in the public domain. The arbitrator, and we think rightly so, ruled that "[i]t would not make any difference if [the author of the report] had lifted the whole report from the Britannica."
But even if we felt that he had committed an error of law in excluding this line of proof, we would not vacate this award and order another arbitration. The better view is that an award will not be vacated even though the arbitrator may have made, in the eyes of judges, errors of fact and law unless it "compels the violation of law or conduct contrary to accepted public policy."
The orders of the District Court are hereby