The Second Department determined Supreme Court should not have vacated the arbitrator’s award because the award was not “irrational:”
“[J]udicial review of arbitration awards is extremely limited” … . In determining any matter arising under CPLR article 75, “the court shall not consider whether the claim with respect to which arbitration is sought is tenable, or otherwise pass upon the merits of the dispute” (CPLR 7501). Accordingly, it is ” not for the courts to interpret the substantive conditions of [a] contract or to [otherwise] determine the merits'” … . “An arbitration award must be upheld when the arbitrator offer[s] even a barely colorable justification for the outcome reached'” … .
The Court of Appeals has recognized “three narrow grounds that may form the basis for vacating an arbitrator’s awardthat it violates public policy, is irrational, or clearly exceeds a specifically enumerated limitation on the arbitrator’s power”… . As relevant here, an arbitrator exceeds his or her power if the award “g[ives] a completely irrational construction to the provisions in dispute and, in effect, ma[kes] a new contract for the parties” …
The petitioner’s contention that the arbitrator misinterpreted the terms of the collective bargaining agreement constitutes a challenge to the merits of the arbitrator’s determination … . Since the arbitrator’s determination was not “completely irrational” … , the petitioner’s challenge to the merits of the arbitrator’s determination does not provide a ground for vacating that determination… . Matter of Sheriff Officers Assn Inc v Nassau County, 2014 NY Slip Op 00108, 2nd Dept 1-8-14