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Vermont Supreme Court Decision in Collective Bargaining Agreement | State of Vermont vs. Vermont State Employee's Association

September, 2018

On August 31, 2018, the Vermont Supreme Court affirmed the Vermont Labor Relations Board interpretation of a collective bargaining agreement between the State of Vermont and the Vermont State Employee’s Association.  In re Grievance of Kobe Kelley, 2018 VT 94.  The issue was whether a change made to the agreement’s family-leave provisions in 1999 limited an employee’s right to use more than six weeks of accrued, paid sick leave while on family leave because of the employee’s own serious illness.  The Supreme Court affirmed the Board’s finding that although the parties’ collective bargaining agreement had conflicting relevant leave provisions and was therefore ambiguous, the evidence surrounding the circumstances of the contract negotiations showed that the parties did not intend to limit the use of accrued sick leave. 

Attorney Gary F. Karnedy served as a member of the Vermont Labor Relations Board from 2009 - 2017 and Board Chair for three years. To download the full decision click HERE