Labor Law is a sub-field of Employment Law that addresses the employment relationship in a unionized workforce, including the rights of employers and of organized union workers employed under group employment contracts known as collective bargaining agreements.
Some examples of Labor Law issues include union elections; collective bargaining over hours, wages, terms and conditions of employment; interest (economic) arbitration; grievance (contract compliance) arbitration; unfair labor practices; strikes, lock-outs, picketing, secondary boycotts and other job actions; strike-busting and the use of temporary workers.
In most contract ratification meetings, union workers are given a summary understanding of their collective bargaining agreement that is typically focused on wage increases and insurance benefits. However, equally important to agreed-upon wages and benefits are the processes by which those rights are enforced under the contract. A contract is only as good as its ability to be enforced. And the ability to enforce a contract is only as good as the language of the contract and the person charged with its enforcement. So when grievances arise, typically as a result of discipline or discharge, union members find that a summary understanding of their collective bargaining agreement is inadequate.
Harrison Law Offices regularly consults with union workers to explain their rights and remedies under the labor laws and under their specific collective bargaining agreement. Oftentimes, unions decide against pursuing a grievance for an employee that is disciplined or discharged; sometimes this is proper, but not all of the time. Sometimes, the existing relationships among union representatives and their co-workers adversely affects the union’s decision to pursue a grievance – leaving the union worker without a remedy.
Harrison Law Offices prosecutes the rights of union employees in unfair labor practice cases where union officials breach the union’s duty to fairly represent their members. Most often, these cases arise when unions, for improper purposes and with bad motives, fail to defend union members in disciplinary or termination cases.