Losing your job when you are in a union can be a devastating blow. Not only have you had to pay your union dues, but now, you are without a source of income. It is rare for union employees to get the boot, and there are some situations in which you may be able to sue. Knowing whether to sue the union or your ex-employer can be the tricky part. An experienced employment attorney can help you get the money that you deserve.
What is an “At Will” State?
California is an at-will state, and that means that most employees can be fired at any time for any reason. However, there are some exceptions to the rule. If you were fired due to your age, sex or ethnicity and feel that you can prove it, you may be able to file a claim with the California State Labor Board or even sue your ex-employer. If you are under a written contract with your employer you may also be able to take them to court. There are two different kinds of contracts a person can have; implied and consent.
An implied contract is a contract that can be assumed because of the conditions that surround the employment. In order for this kind of contract to hold up, the party’s behavior must suggest that a contract was in existence. For example, you agree to walk your friend’s dog every Wednesday for a year. You walk the dog for six months. You arrive at their house one Wednesday to find that they no longer need you to do this. They still must pay you, even though no one ever really wrote anything down.
A consent contract is a formally drafted agreement between two parties that specifically details when, where and how work should be performed. It can be used as evidence if your employer fires you in spite of its existence.
How Labor Union Contract Agreements Work
When a labor union makes an agreement with a company, the negotiation process is called collective bargaining. The discussions include such things as wages, benefits and working conditions.
Unlike other workers, a union worker can only get fired if there is “just cause” for the termination. Many union contracts also specify that the employees must go through a grievance process when they feel they have been wrongfully fired.
If you are in a union and you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated by an employer, or if you think the union has misrepresented you during a grievance process, you can fill out a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. Before you sue a labor union for misrepresentation, you must exhaust any existing internal remedies.
Dealing with big corporations or unions can be an exhausting process. Corporations and unions have teams of attorneys who are well versed in labor law and in wrongful termination cases. Fortunately, LA Wrongful Termination Lawyer – Steven M. Rubin, can help you to get the money you deserve if you have been wrongfully terminated. A good attorney can make all the difference in getting justice or getting nothing.