TCU and 10 other rail unions have won an arbitration award that will make the carriers change existing FMLA policies. The award states that the carriers’ substitution of FMLA leave for paid vacation and personal leave is a violation of the vacation and personal leave sections of the national collective bargaining agreement. No longer will a member, working for CSX, Norfolk Southern or Union Pacific, be required to substitute vacation or personal leave for FMLA leave. BNSF has also agreed to change its policy to conform to the new award, despite an earlier award that ruled in its favor on this issue.
The carriers must “immediately discontinue” the practices of the old policies and must put new policies in place to conform to this award which becomes effective December 22, 2008. The handling of pending claims will still need to be determined.
Click here to read the award.