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Worker fails to exhaust administrative remedies; case dismissed

Donald Haring was terminated from his civil service job at the Michigan School for the Deaf and Blind.  With the representation of his Union, the UAW, he filed a grievance which he lost.  He then sued the UAW in circuit court, alleging that the union had breached its duty to fairly represent him.

The Court of Appeals noted that regardless of how it is framed semantically, Mr. Haring's complaint essentially alleges an unfair labor practice, and that in Michigan the Michigan Civil Service Commission has been granted "plenary and absolute powers in that field."    Under Michigan law, since an administrative grievance procedure has been provided in this context, the circuit court does not have jurisdiction to hear the worker's complaint unless and until the worker has exhausted his administrative remedy (assuming the worker cannot prove that exhaustion would be "futile" under the circumstances).  Since Haring did not exhaust his MCSC administrative remedies prior to filing suit, the trial court's dismissal of his complaint was upheld.

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