1635 Ethical Practices Complaint, Gainer v. UAW GM Dept.

Case No: 1635


Gainer’s appeal concerning her removal as Human Resource Development Representative in 1999 is barred by the UAW Constitutional time limits. The time limit applicable to appeals or Ethical Practices Complaints begins to run when the member first becomes aware of the action being challenged. Gainer has demonstrated by her own testimony that she knew in 1999 that the Human Resource Development Representative position was not going to be held open for her.

Gainer’s fundamental complaint is that she was removed from her special assignment for filing a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination against the International Union pursuant to Title VII. Gainer’s complaint states a claim within our jurisdiction to consider Ethical Practices Complaints because adverse action against a union member taken in direct retaliation for the member’s initiation of a complaint alleging discrimination would in itself be discrimination. We conclude that the protections afforded by the Ethical Practices Codes do not apply to Gainer’s Title VII lawsuit in the context of this case given the union’s undeniable need to reduce appointments such as Gainer’s and her failure to exhaust the remedies available to her under the UAW Constitution to address her concerns about discrimination based on race or gender. It is unnecessary, therefore, for the union to conduct further investigation into the question whether the lawsuit played any part in the decision to eliminate Gainer’s assignment.

Member Ontiveros dissented.

A request for reconsideration was denied.