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Manos v. United Food & Commercial Workers International Union

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

March 28, 2014

ART MANOS, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION, et al., Defendants

Page 474

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 475

HYDERALLY & ASSOCIATES, PC, By: Ty Hyderally, Esq., Francine Foner, Esq., Montclair, New Jersey, Counsel for Plaintiff.

O'BRIEN, BELLAND & BUSHINSKY, LLC, By: Steven J. Bushinsky, Esq., David F. Watkins, Esq., Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Counsel for Defendants International United Food and Commercial Workers Union, United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 152, and Daniel Konczyk.

ATTORNEYS HARTMAN, CHARTERED, By: Katherine D. Hartman, Esq., Moorestown, New Jersey, Counsel for Defendant Mark Belland.

OPINION

Page 476

HONORABLE Joseph E. Irenas, Senior United States District Judge.

This suit concerns tort and contract claims stemming from an employment dispute between Plaintiff Art Manos (" Plaintiff" ) and Defendants United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 152 (" Employer" ), United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (" International Union" ), Dan Konczyk, and Mark Belland (collectively, " Defendants" ). Presently before the Court is the Defendants' Motion to Stay Plaintiff's Complaint pending arbitration. At present, an arbitration decision and award has been issued in the Defendants' favor, rendering any stay moot. In light of the Court's limited subject-matter jurisdiction, this Court must dismiss Plaintiff's three state-law breach of contract claims and remand Plaintiff's eight other state-law claims to the Superior Court for lack of jurisdiction. Finally, the Court must retain jurisdiction over Plaintiff's ERISA claim, the sole claim brought under federal law.

I.

The Court reviews only the essential facts and procedural history to resolve the pending motion and jurisdictional questions.

Plaintiff brings this lawsuit following his termination from employment on July 25, 2012. (Compl. ¶ 125) Plaintiff contends that his termination came about as a result of various injuries and disabilities he sustained from incidents on two occasions in February 2007, one incident in July 2008, and one incident in September 2008. (Id. ¶ ¶ 32, 34, 77, 86) In particular, Plaintiff alleges that four parties are liable for his harm: Local 152 (" Employer" ), their associated International Union, Daniel Koczyk, the Executive Assistant to the President of Employer, and Mark Belland, an attorney for Employer.

In total, Plaintiff asserts thirteen claims against these Defendants. These claims include:

o Count I: Violation of the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (" CEPA" ), N.J.S.A. 34:19-1;
o Count II: Common law retaliation pursuant to Pierce v. Ortho Pharma. Corp., 84 N.J. 58, 417 A.2d 505 (1980);
o Count III: Violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (" NJLAD" ), N.J.S.A. 10:5-1;
o Count IV: Retaliation in violation of the NJLAD;

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o Count V: Violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (" ERISA" ), 29 U.S.C. § 1001;
o Count VI: Tortious interference with contractual relations;
o Count VII: Invasion of privacy;
o Count VIII: Invasion of privacy, public disclosure of private facts;
o Count IX: Invasion of privacy, placing one in a ...

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