233 F.3d 969 (7th Cir. 2000), 99-3942, Gilliam v UPS

Docket Nº:99-3942
Citation:233 F.3d 969
Party Name:Reginald Gilliam, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. United Parcel Service, Inc., Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:November 29, 2000
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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Page 969

233 F.3d 969 (7th Cir. 2000)

Reginald Gilliam, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

United Parcel Service, Inc., Defendant-Appellee.

No. 99-3942

In the United States Court of Appeals, For the Seventh Circuit

November 29, 2000

Submitted September 18, 2000

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. No. 398CV0442RM--Robert L. Miller, Jr., Judge.

Page 970

Before Easterbrook, Ripple, and Williams, Circuit Judges.

Easterbrook, Circuit Judge.

An employee who fails to report to work for three consecutive days and does not notify the company by the beginning of the scheduled starting time on the third day is in trouble under Article 16(d) of the collective bargaining agreement between United Parcel Service and the Teamsters Union. Reginald Gilliam violated this rule and was fired. He took off Friday, August 22, 1997, with the permission of Allen Kinsey, his supervisor. Kinsey expected Gilliam to return to work the next Monday; Gilliam, however, thought that his leave had an indefinite duration and did not try to get in contact with Kinsey until the following Thursday (and did not succeed until Friday, August 29). Kinsey gave Gilliam the bad news by failing to call in by the start of his shift on Tuesday, August 26 (the third working day of leave), Gilliam had abandoned his job. This is an understanding of the collective bargaining agreement that Gilliam and the union might have challenged--perhaps on the ground that by granting leave Kinsey extended the notice period to Wednesday or even later, depending on how much leave Gilliam reasonably thought Kinsey had authorized--but arbitration did not occur, and Gilliam does not say that his union violated its duty of fair representation. Like the district court, therefore, we take it as established that Article 16(d) entitled UPS to act as it did. We must decide whether the application of this collective bargaining agreement to Gilliam violates the Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. sec.sec. 2601-54.

Gilliam took time off to be with his fianc e, Diana Nukes, after she delivered their child. The birth occurred on August 20, 1997, when Nukes was in her home town of Columbus, Ohio, and Gilliam was working in Elkhart, Indiana. Gilliam had known about the pregnancy since November 1996 but did not tell UPS that he wanted time off until the day after Nukes gave...

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