United States District Court, D. New Jersey
NEW JERSEY BUILDING CONSTRUCTION LABORERS DISTRICT COUNCIL NEW JERSEY BUILDING LABORERS STATEWIDE BENEFIT FUNDS AND THE TRUSTEES THEREOF, Petitioners,
INNOVATIVE MASONRY LLC d/b/a INNOVATIVE DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT,, Respondent.
WILLIAM J. MARTINI. U.S.D.J.
matter comes before the Court on Innovative Masonry LLC's
motion to vacate an arbitration award, ECF No. 7, and New
Jersey Building Construction Laborers District Counsel's
motion to confirm the award, ECF Nos. 8-9. For the reasons
set forth below, the motion to vacate is
DENIED and the motion to confirm is
April 9 and April 27, 2018, Arbitrator Louis P. Verrone
("Arbitrator") held hearings to determine whether
Innovative Masonry LLC ("Employer") violated its
Collective Bargaining Agreement ("Agreement") with
the New Jersey Building Construction Laborers' District
Council and the Jersey Building Laborers Statewide Benefit
Funds ("Union"). Arb. Op. & Award at 2, ECF No.
8, Ex. A ("Award"). Arbitrator answered two
1. Whether the signatory Company violated the terms of the
parties' Agreements by failing to apply all of the
respective terms and conditions of said Agreements, including
the payment of wages and benefits, while performing work
covered by said Agreements at four distinct worksites under
the name or names of other companies [("Other
Companies")] in order to avoid its contractual
responsibilities under the Agreements?
2. If so, what shall be the remedy?
Id. As to the first question, Arbitrator determined
that by utilizing "related entities" to perform
work, Employer "violated the Recognition, Wages and
Fringe Benefits and Work Preservation provisions of the
Agreements between it and the . .. Union."
Id. at 30. As to the second question, Arbitrator
applied "[t]he customary and most frequent remedy
utilized by arbitrators under similar situations,"
namely, "a monetary award of damages to unit employees
equal to the work opportunities afforded non-union
employees." Id. Lost wages and benefits were
calculated by "multiplying the number of job hours per
week by the applicable hourly contractual wage [or benefit]
rate." Id. at 31. Accordingly, Arbitrator (1)
awarded Union $89, 395.62, comprised of (a) $47, 021.90 in
unpaid wages; (b) $39, 873.72 in unpaid benefits; and (c) $2,
500.00 in fees and (2) ordered Employer to "cooperate
fully with any inquiry or audit" by Union. Id.
October 15, 2018, Employer petitioned this Court to vacate
the arbitration award. See Innovative Design and
Development, LLC v. New Jersey Building Construction Laborers
District Council Building and General Construction Laborers
Local 3 & 77, No. 18-cv-14966, ECF No. 1. The same
day, Union opened this matter and petitioned to confirm the
Award. ECF No. 1. Again on the same day, another union opened
a third action. See Keystone Mountain Lakes Regional
Council of Carpenters as successors to Northeast
Regional Council of Carpenters, Northeast Carpenters Funds
and the Trustees Thereof v. Innovative Masonry LLC d/b/a
Innovative Design & Development, No.
18-cv-14975. As set forth in the Court's January 7, 2019
Order, after unwinding various motions, both parties were
afforded opportunities to cross move for confirmation and
vacatur. See ECF No. 6. Pending before the Court are
STANDARD OF REVIEW
the Federal Arbitration Act ("Act"), a court may
vacate an arbitration award:
1. where the award was procured by corruption, fraud, or
2. where there was evident partiality or corruption in the
arbitrators, or either of them;
3. where the arbitrators were guilty of misconduct in
refusing to postpone the hearing, upon sufficient cause
shown, or in refusing to hear evidence pertinent and material
to the controversy; or of any other misbehavior by which the
rights of any party have been prejudiced; or
4. where the arbitrators exceeded their powers, or so
imperfectly executed them that a mutual, final, and definite
award upon the ...