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Former Employees of Southern Triangle Oil Co. v. United States

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT


Decided: January 22, 1991.

FORMER EMPLOYEES OF SOUTHERN TRIANGLE OIL COMPANY, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES,
v.
THE UNITED STATES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

Appeal from the United States Court of International Trade.

Michel, Lourie, and Clevenger, Circuit Judges.

Per Curiam

DECISION

The United States appeals the order of the United States Court of International Trade, Former Employees of Southern Triangle Oil Co. v. United States Secretary of Labor, 12 I.T.R.D. (BNA) 1516 (Ct. Int'l Trade May 4, 1990), awarding judgment for the plaintiffs and approving a revised determination of the Department of Labor made pursuant to that Court's earlier order, Former Employees of Southern Triangle Oil Co. v. United States Secretary of Labor, 731 F. Supp. 517 (Feb. 14, 1990). The Department's revised determination stated that all workers of Southern Triangle Oil Company separated from employment on or after October 1, 1985 and before November 15, 1987 are eligible to apply for adjustment assistance. Because the factual record is insufficient to support the Court's judgment, we vacate and remand the case to the Court of International Trade, with instructions to remand the case to the Department of Labor to find the legally dispositive facts as identified in this opinion.

This case arises under amendments to the trade adjustment assistance program, see 19 U.S.C. §§ 2271 - 2321 (1988), that were made by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 (the "Act"), Pub. L. No. 100-418, 102 Stat. 1107 (1988). 19 U.S.C. § 2273(b)(1) contains a statute of limitations, known as the "one-year rule," providing that a certification will not apply to a worker whose last separation occurred more than one year prior to the date of the petition on which certification was granted. Section 1421(a)(1)(B) of the Act provides a special exception to this one-year rule. To qualify for the exception, applications must show, among other things, that their certification "would not have been made if the amendments by [§ 1421(a)(1)(A) of the Act] had not been enacted into law," Pub. L. No. 100-418, § 1421(a)(1)(B), 102 Stat. at 1243.

In this case, the record does not reveal that a finding has been made, by the Department of Labor or by the Court of International Trade, that Mr. Pierson or other workers separated from Southern Triangle on or after October 1, 1985 and prior to November 15, 1987 would not have been certified as eligible for assistance but for the 1988 amendments. Nor can we say that a finding one way or the other is compelled by the record on appeal. The judgment certifying this class of workers thus was not made in conformity with the legal standards of the Act and cannot be sustained.

The judgment is vacated and the case remanded to the Court of International Trade. That Court in turn is to remand the case to the Department of Labor for an explicit determination as to whether workers separated from Southern Triangle between October 1, 1985 and November 15, 1987 would have been certified as qualified for assistance under the Department's interpretation and application of the law, including its so-called "25% rule," prior to the amendments made by the 1988 Act.

COSTS

Each party shall bear its own costs.

19910122

© 1998 VersusLaw Inc.



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