City of Bridgeport and NAGE, Local RI-200
A city may possess just cause to discharge a worker who allegedly uses foul language and throws keys at a supervisor. In February 2012, Robert Hammond, who worked as a manager for the City of Bridgeport, asked Louis Innacell, a service assistant, to return some keys. Innacell allegedly threw the keys, which struck Hammond in the chest. Innacell previously had received warnings and suspensions for confrontational and threatening conduct and insubordination. A witness claimed that Innacell used foul language and was disrespectful. The city discharged Innacell. The union filed a grievance, and Innacell apparently claimed that he handed the key to Hammond and that Hammond dropped the keys. The union requested reinstatement and back pay. Arbitrators found that the city possessed just cause to discharge, because Innacell allegedly used foul language, was insubordinate and threw the keys. "Physical violence, threatening, insubordination and foul language to a superior . . . cannot be condoned," wrote arbitrators. Philip White represented the city, and Elizabeth Ditman represented the union.