Providence Public Library workers union wins in RI Supreme Court

Apr 19, 2013

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has overturned a lower court decision that barred  unionized employees of the Providence Public Library from collecting about $150,000 in accumulated vacation pay.

In a decision released today, the high court vacated a decision by Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter that barred the unionized workers from collecting the money because their union, the United Service and Allied Workers of Rhode Island, did not file a timely  appeal of a state Department of Labor Training opinion .

After the DLT declined to give the employees the vacation benefits, the union filed an appeal in Superior Court. Under state law, such appeals must be filed within  30 days. Judge Taft-Carter ordered the appeal dismissed because the appeal was filed after the 30 day window had closed.

But the Supreme Court  stated that weekend and holidays were not considered and that Taft-Carter erred in so narrowly ruling. The matter will now likely go back to Superior Court for a full hearing on the merits. Karen McAninch, union business agent, could not be reached for comment.