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DelCostello v. Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters

Supreme Court of the United States

April 25, 1983, Argued ; June 8, 1983, Decided 1

No. 81-2386


 [*154]  [***482]  [**2285]    JUSTICE BRENNAN delivered the opinion of the Court.

 Each of these cases arose as a suit by an employee or employees against an employer and a union, alleging that the employer had breached a provision of a collective-bargaining agreement, and that the union had breached its duty of fair representation by mishandling the ensuing grievance-and-arbitration proceedings. See infra, at 162; Bowen v. USPS, 459 U.S. 212 (1983); Vaca v. Sipes, 386 U.S. 171 (1967); Hines v. Anchor Motor Freight, Inc., 424 U.S. 554 (1976). The issue presented is what statute of limitations should apply to such suits. In United Parcel Service, Inc. v. Mitchell, 451 U.S. 56 (1981), we held that a similar suit was governed by a state statute of limitations for vacation of an arbitration award, rather than by a state statute for an action on a contract.  [****8]  We left two points open, however. First, our holding was limited to the employee's claim against the employer; we did not address what state statute should govern the claim against the union. 3 Second, we expressly limited our consideration to a choice between two state statutes of limitations; we did not address the contention that we should instead borrow a federal statute of limitations, namely, § 10(b) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U. S. C. § 160(b). 4 These cases present  [***483]  these two issues.  [*155]  We conclude that § 10(b) should be the applicable statute of limitations governing the suit, both against the employer and against the union.

 [****9]  I

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462 U.S. 151 *; 103 S. Ct. 2281 **; 76 L. Ed. 2d 476 ***; 1983 U.S. LEXIS 51 ****; 51 U.S.L.W. 4693; 97 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P10,156; 113 L.R.R.M. 2737



Disposition:  679 F.2d 879, reversed and remanded; 671 F.2d 87, reversed.


limitations period, arbitration, state law, borrowing, cases, grievance, federal law, collective-bargaining, fair representation, statute of limitations, state statute of limitations, analogy, vacate, rule of decision, Relations, limitations, suits, federal statute, state statute, malpractice, arbitration award, cause of action, bargaining, courts, disputes, federal cause of action, unfair labor practice, employees, arbitration statute, breach of duty

Labor & Employment Law, Collective Bargaining & Labor Relations, Unfair Labor Practices, General Overview, Labor Arbitration, Judicial Review, Civil Procedure, Affirmative Defenses, Statute of Limitations, Borrowing Statutes, Governments, Legislation, Time Limitations, Preliminary Considerations, Federal & State Interrelationships, Erie Doctrine, Jurisdiction, Jurisdictional Sources, Judgments, Preclusion of Judgments, Full Faith & Credit, Full Faith & Credit Statutes, Justiciability, Exhaustion of Remedies, Contracts Law, Breach, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Business & Corporate Compliance, Pretrial Matters, Judicial Review, Enforcement of Bargaining Agreements, Enforcement of Bargaining Agreements, Exhaustion of Remedies, Duty of Fair Representation, Employment Relationships, Employment Contracts, Breaches, Discipline, Layoffs & Terminations, International Trade Law, Dispute Resolution, International Commercial Arbitration, Arbitration, Union Violations, Breach of Duty of Fair Representation