Bradford v. Union Pacific Railroad Co.

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Labor Law
  • Date Filed: 09-16-2014
  • Case #: 12-16469
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: District Judge Marvin J. Garbis for the Court; Circuit Judges Tallman and Rawlinson
  • Full Text Opinion

An individual terminated from his job receives adequate due process when, in the context of the circumstances at issue, sufficient procedures provide the individual an opportunity to be heard.

Robert Bradford was fired from Union Pacific for drug use and is appealing the District Court’s grant of summary judgment on his challenge to a Public Law Board’s (“Board”) decision affirming the termination of his employment with Union Pacific. On appeal, Bradford argues that (1) the Board violated his due process rights by virtue of its own proceedings and its alleged failure to remedy the procedural violations that occurred during the on-property hearing, (2) the Board considered an incomplete record because the Hearing Officer excluded evidence relevant to the dispute, and (3) the Board’s record was incomplete because Union Pacific never produced the litigation packet (his medical records from the labs that tested his urine) as required by statute. On appeal the Ninth Circuit rejected Bradford’s arguments. First, the panel held that due process provisions did not apply to the on-property hearing because Union Pacific is a private actor. Next, the panel held that Bradford’s second claim was incorrect because the Board received and reviewed all the evidence in the petition for review, including the evidence that the Hearing Officer had admitted and excluded. The panel further held that the Board met the statutory requirements by considering all the evidence provided and that even if the Board mistakenly absolved Union Pacific of its responsibility regarding the provision of the litigation packet, any error was immaterial. Therefore, the district court is AFFIRMED.

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