The relevant facts established by the arbitrator are as follows.2 The district employed Scipioni as a social education teacher in high school. During the 2003-2004 school year, he was the head coach of the girls` basketball team. At one point during the season, Senior “AH” referred to Scipioni and the coaching team that she had been sexually abused. They immediately reported the case to the authorities and the local police opened an investigation that night. Although AH later dismissed her charges, a man was removed from her home and prosecuted. In any case, after an important contact between AH and Scipioni and their eighteenth birthday in May 2004, their relationship culminated in a sexual encounter on the closing night of June 2004. Although they continued their relationship throughout the summer and exchanged a series of phone calls and text messages, it ended at the time AH reported to the university in late August or early September 2004. In the appeal proceedings, the question is as follows: (1) did the common pleas err in the expulsion of the arbitral award on the basis of the exclusion of public policy from the nature test; and (2) if the court has improperly altered the arbitrator`s arbitral award. It is now axiomatic that “an arbitral award should be upheld if it can be rationally deduced from the collective agreement, unless it is contrary to public policy”. City of Bradford v. Teamsters Union No. 110, 25 A.3d 408, 413 (Pa. Cmwlth.
2011). Our three-step analysis for the application of the public policy exception provides that the court (1) identifies the nature of the conduct leading to disciplinary measures; (2) determine whether that conduct involves a clearly defined and dominant public policy; and (3) determine whether the arbitrator`s arbitral award constitutes an unacceptable risk of undermining the policy at issue and causing the public employer to breach its legitimate or public obligations, having regard to the particular circumstances, including any aggravating or mitigating factors, and the actual findings of the arbitrator. Id. at 414. While the resolution of the third step is crucial, we briefly look at the first two steps to provide context for our analysis. Id. at 19 years old; R.R. at 90a (footnote).