JOSEPH MACK, Complainant
AFSCME LOCAL 366, Respondent
An administrative law judge (ALJ) for the Equal Rights Division of the Department of Workforce Development issued a decision in this matter. A timely petition for review was filed.
The commission has considered the petition and the positions of the parties, and it has reviewed the evidence submitted to the ALJ. Based on its review, the commission agrees with the decision of the ALJ, and it adopts the findings and conclusion in that decision as its own.
The decision of the administrative law judge (copy attached) is affirmed.
Dated and mailed July 24, 2002
mackjo . rsd : 164 : 9
/s/ David B. Falstad, Chairman
/s/ James A. Rutkowski, Commissioner
/s/ Laurie R. McCallum, Commissioner
The complainant's petition for commission review addresses the merits of his case against the respondent. However, the question before the commission at this time is whether the doctrine of issue preclusion prevents the Equal Rights Division from hearing the complainant's case. The complainant's equal rights complaint alleges that the respondent failed to represent him because of his age and race. Subsequent to the filing of his complaint, a separate decision was issued in a suit filed by the complainant against the respondent in federal court, involving the same set of facts, in which the court granted the respondent's motion for summary judgment on the ground that no reasonable jury could find that the respondent's decision not to take the complainant's grievance to arbitration was arbitrary, discriminatory, or in bad faith. Thus, the issue presented in the complainant's equal rights complaint has already been fully litigated and determined by a final judgment of the federal district court. For these reasons, and applying the "fundamental fairness standards" discussed in the administrative law judge's decision, the commission concludes that the district court's judgment precludes relitigation of the same issues before the Equal Rights Division. Accordingly, the dismissal of the complaint is affirmed.
Attorney Robert E. Haney
Attorney Barry L. Chaet
Appealed to Circuit Court. Affirmed March 24, 2003.
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