Case: 11-31185 Document: 00512100121 Page: 6 Date Filed: 01/03/2013
Ass’n Int’l, 343 F.3d 401, 407–10 (5th Cir. 2003) (holding same where “the Board
determined that Balser’s ‘violation’ of American Eagle’s ‘anti-harassment policy’
provided American Eagle with ‘not only a right, but a duty to rid the workplace’
of Balser’s conduct” but the Board had also found, contrary to the express
language of the CBA, that a procedural default by the employer permitted
finding a lesser sanction than discharge appropriate).
We drew support in DuPont in part from Delta Queen Steamboat Co. v.
District 2 Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, 889 F.2d 599 (5th Cir. 1989).
The CBA in Delta Queen read: “‘No Officer shall be discharged except for proper
cause such as, but not limited to, inefficiency, insubordination, carelessness, or
disregard of the rules of the Company.’” 889 F.2d at 601. The arbitrator found
that a riverboat captain employed by the company had been “‘grossly careless’”
in the operation of his vessel, but that to avoid disparate treatment of employees,
the captain should nevertheless be reinstated. Id. We concluded that where a
CBA “defines ‘proper cause’ to include a nonexhaustive list of offenses, an
arbitrator cannot ignore the natural consequence of his finding that a listed
offense was committed.” Id. at 604. Having found proper cause for discharge as
the CBA defined it, the arbitrator could not issue another form of discipline. Id.
As we later observed, Delta Queen and DuPont teach that “when authority to
impose a lesser alternative sanction cannot be arguably inferred from a CBA, the
arbitrator may not exceed the scope of the CBA to fashion one.” Weber Aircraft,
253 F.3d at 825.
We do not accept, as Albemarle advances, that the arbitrator in this case
was similarly constrained by the CBA to require the Grievants’ terminations.
The CBA does not make clear that any violation of safety rules is an offense
requiring discharge. Article III provides that Albemarle, “for cause,” may not
only “discharg[e],” but also “suspend” or “disciplin[e]” its employees. Thus, by
its terms, the CBA contemplates situations in which a finding of “cause” could