Postal Service v. Letter Carriers

485 U. S. 680

April 27, 1988

A postman named Edward Hyde was fired for unlawfully delaying mail delivery. According to a collective bargaining agreement, postmen could only be fired for “just cause,” and an arbitrator unaccountably ruled that failing to deliver mail on time was not “just cause.” A District Court tried to set aside the arbitrator’s ruling as contrary to public policy, but the Court of Appeals said that no clearly defined public policy had been violated.

By a per curiam order, the Court dismissed the case as improvidently granted. While the Court of Appeals was probably technically correct, the facts of the case are utterly appalling. If failing to deliver mail isn’t “just cause” for a mailman being fired, then what the h3ll is?


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