This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).






William L. Haugan,





State of Minnesota,

Department of Agriculture,





Minnesota Association

of Professional Employees,



Filed February 5, 2002


Harten, Judge


Ramsey County District Court

File No. C8-01-001844


William L. Haugan, 705 Forest Avenue Southeast, Staples, MN 56479 (appellant pro se)


Mike Hatch, Attorney General, Yvonne Shorts, Assistant Attorney General, 445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1100, St. Paul, MN 55101-2128 (for respondent State of Minnesota, Department of Agriculture)


Gregg M. Corwin, Amanda R. Cefalu, Gregg M. Corwin & Associates Law Office, P.C., 508 East Parkdale Plaza Building, 1660 South Highway 100, St. Louis Park, MN 55416-1534 (for respondent Minnesota Association of Professional Employees)


            Considered and decided by Harten, Presiding Judge, Anderson, Judge, and Stoneburner, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N




            Respondents, appellant’s union and his former employer, arbitrated appellant’s grievance of his employment termination. After the arbitrator affirmed appellant’s termination, the union declined to appeal, and appellant independently moved the district court to vacate the arbitrator’s award.  The district court denied the motion, finding that appellant lacked standing.  Because we agree that appellant lacked standing, we affirm.



            Appellant William Haugan began working as a hydrologist for respondent Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) in April 1990.  In 1998, appellant was transferred to the Staples office, where a controversy developed between him and a female co-worker.  Appellant was ultimately assigned to another office and directed to stay out of the Staples office and to have no contact with the co-worker, who had obtained a restraining order against him.  In July 1999, appellant was permitted to enter the Staples office, but only for a few minutes to retrieve some files.  He remained in the office for two hours and returned to the premises later that day.  MDA issued a written reprimand for appellant’s failure to remain out of the office.  Appellant grieved the reprimand.

Appellant was ultimately discharged in October 1999 for violating MDA’s harassment policy, failing to follow directives, and violating a restraining order.  He grieved his termination.  Respondent Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE) defended him at an arbitration hearing.  The arbitrator determined that MDA had just cause for both the reprimand and the discharge and issued an award to that effect.  MAPE declined to appeal the award.

Appellant then moved the district court to vacate the award.  The district court denied the motion on the grounds that appellant lacked standing to vacate the award because he was not a party to the arbitration.[1]  Appellant challenges the denial.



            Minn. Stat. § 572.19 (2000) provides that a party to an arbitration may move for vacation of the award in district court.  Appellant’s standing to move for vacation depends on whether he was a party to the arbitration within the meaning of the statute.  Statutory construction is a question of law, which this court reviews de novo.  Brookfield Trade Ctr., Inc. v. County of Ramsey, 584 N.W.2d 390, 393 (Minn. 1998).

            Whether an employee whose discharge is grieved by a union has standing to challenge an arbitration award was determined in Eisen v. State, Dep’t of Pub. Welfare, 352 N.W.2d 731 (Minn. 1984).  Eisen held that “an individual employee may not appeal an unfavorable award where the union expressly determines not to appeal.”  Id. at 736.  Eisen is dispositive.  Because MAPE declined to challenge the arbitration award in district court, appellant independently lacked standing to challenge it.[2]


[1] The district court concluded in the alternative that appellant had not established grounds for vacating the award.  Because we agree that appellant lacked standing to challenge the award, we do not address this issue.  Appellant presents (but does not argue) a number of issues that were never presented to the district court and therefore are not reviewable by this court.  See Thiele v. Stich, 425 N.W.2d 580, 582 (Minn. 1988) (reviewing court must consider only those issues presented to and considered by district court).  Appellant also moved to have a portion of respondent’s brief stricken.  Because the items he moves to strike are part of the record, the motion is denied.

[2] Appellant’s remedy if he thought MAPE had not fairly represented him was to bring an action against MAPE.  See id. (employee has a “right of action against the union in any case where the union, for discriminatory or other invidious reasons, did not fairly represent the interests of the employee * * * ”).