Johnson v. NBC Universal, Inc., 2010 WL 4840436 (3d Cir., November 30, 2010) – The Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that a union employee’s harassment claim was preempted by Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), rejecting the employee’s claim that the dispute could be resolved without interpreting the parties’ collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The parties’ CBA authorized the union to directly negotiate “deal memoranda” on behalf of its members, which contain additional provisions specific to the employer and are signed by both the employee and employer. The plaintiff sued for breach of contract, claiming that the harassment policy contained in the deal memo was violated. The court ruled that the CBA and the deal memo together memorialized the terms of the agreement and resolution of the plaintiff’s claim was therefore “substantially dependent” upon the terms of the CBA. Accordingly, the court held that Section 301 preempted his state law claims.

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