Appellate Division Reverses Decision and Order that Vacated Bais Din Award


haftrBy Avrohom Gefen

The New York Appellate Division, Second Department, has reversed an order of the New York Supreme Court that vacated an arbitration award by the Beth Din of America.

The Supreme Court order vacated the award of the Beth Din which reinstated a tenured teacher at a salary greater than that agreed upon in the teacher’s contract. The court found, among other things, that the award ran counter to public policy. The Supreme Court decision can be accessed here.

The Appellate court reversed the decision finding that “. . .Supreme Court incorrectly granted that branch of HAFTR’s cross petition which was to vacate the arbitration award, since the petitioner demonstrated that he was a tenured teacher at HAFTR and, as such, had certain rights, including the right to have his employment terminated only for cause, barring emergent financial circumstances not at issue here…In response, HAFTR failed to rebut this showing by demonstrating the applicability of any of the statutorily enumerated grounds for vacatur of the award.”

The Appellate court also held that the $100,000 annual salary designated in the award was not irrational because “HAFTR concedes in its brief, the petitioner’s average annual compensation during his last seven years at HAFTR was greater than $100,000. It was, therefore, not irrational for the panel of arbitrators to set the petitioner’s future annual salary at $100,000.” As reported on January 21, 2009 in the Jewish Week, with overtime the teacher was earning $118,000 at the time he was let go, plus health insurance and a pension.

The Appellate Division decision can be found here.

{JLPerspectives/ Newscenter}