Legal Memorandum: Dispute Resolution under a Collective Bargaining Agreement

Issue: Is it necessary for ‘the same set of facts’ to be applied in both territorial law claims and to dispute resolution under a collective bargaining agreement in the Virgin Islands.

Area of Law: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Employee Law
Keywords: Territorial law claims; Dispute resolution under a Collective Bargaining Agreement; Same set of facts
Jurisdiction: Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: 24 V.I.C § 76(a), § 301
Date: 08/01/2008

With respect to whether “the same set of facts” applies to both the territorial law claims and to dispute resolution under a collective bargaining agreement, the Supreme Court says this in itself is immaterial in the pre-emption analysis:

[Section] 301 pre-emption merely ensures that federal law will be the basis for interpreting collective bargaining agreements, and says nothing about the substantive rights a state may provide to workers when adjudication of those rights does not depend upon the interpretation of such agreements.  In other words, even if dispute resolution pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, on the one hand, and state law, on the other, would require addressing precisely the same set of facts, as long as the state-law claim can be resolved without interpreting the agreement itself, the claim is “independent” of the agreement for § 301 pre-emption purposes.


Lingle v. Norge Div. of Magic Chef, Inc., 486 U.S. 399, 409-10 (1988).

The obligation of good faith and fair dealing attaches to such private employment contracts, even those terminable at will.   Petersen v. First Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass’n, 617 F. Supp. 1039, 1042 (D.V.I. 1985). 

Where a claim is based on the private employment contract between the employee and the employer, rather than the collective bargaining contract between the labor organization and the employer, § 301 is not implicated and there is no preemption.  See Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386 (1987) (§ 301 does not […]

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