Gurumurthy Kalyanaram reports on lawsuits and policies and in this brief he reports briefly on the implication of Trent v. Bolger for tolling provisions of Collective Bargaining Agreement.
In Trent v. Bolger, 837 F.2d 657 (4th Cir. 1988), the Fourth Circuit applied the simple rule that the limitations period is tolled while an employee pursues the appeal procedures provided in collective bargaining agreement.
In Trent, Trent had the right to take a direct appeal of the board’s action, albeit on limited grounds, in order to attempt to directly overturn the board’s award. Thus, the right to appeal was not independent and it did not provide different relief.
In Trent, the collective bargaining agreement provided that an employee is “not hereunder deprived whatever rights of appeal such employee may have under the Veterans’ Preference Act.” Trent, 837 F.2d at 658 n.2 (quoting the collective bargaining agreement).
By that language, the collective bargaining agreement was deemed to have incorporated into its provisions the appeal procedures provided under the statute, which provided for limited judicial review of arbitration decisions. 5 U.S.C. § 7703[c]. 837 F.2d at 659.
The Fourth Circuit held that, after the arbitration award, and while the employee pursued his petition for review to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, “the six-month statute of limitations was tolled by the [judicial proceedings.” 837 F.2d at 659-660.