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Union Pacific appeals order to reinstate fired engineer

Posted: 10:36 AM, Dec 26, 2019
Updated: 2019-12-26 11:39:48-05
Union Pacific

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Union Pacific is continuing its fight against reinstating a train engineer who defecated on a locomotive connection knuckle.

The company filed an appeal last week to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. Last month a district judge in Omaha upheld an arbitration board’s decision that the fired engineer should be reinstated because termination was “excessive discipline.”

Union Pacific had sued the employee union to overturn the board’s order to put Matthew Lebsack back on the job. The lawsuit says Lebsack walked past the locomotive cab bathroom on Nov. 20, 2016, when the train was stopped. It says he left the locomotive and defecated on the metal knuckle that connected the locomotive to a rail car.

Union Pacific had sued the employee union to overturn the board’s order to put Matthew Lebsack back on the job. The lawsuit says Lebsack walked past the locomotive cab bathroom on Nov. 20, 2016, when the train was stopped. It says he left the locomotive and defecated on the metal knuckle that connected the locomotive to a rail car.

U.S. District Court Judge Brian Buescher said in his ruling that he didn’t understand why the board didn’t think Lebsack’s conduct was worthy of upholding his termination.

But Buescher also said the law didn’t let him consider the merits of the arbitration board’s decision, but only whether that decision fell within the boar’d’s discretion under the provisions of railroad-union contract. He said Union Pacific presented no evidence showing the board’s decision was not within its discretion.