Employment unions exist to help individual employees contend workplace matters without having to go to an attorney. However, there are circumstances in which an employee might require an attorney in tandem or after contacting their union. In today’s Noble Notes audio blog, Lead New York Attorney Cathryn Harris-Marchesi explains the union grievance process, collective bargaining agreements, discrimination claims, and filing deadlines.
Termination, failure to promote, unequal pay, or any other workplace matters that conflict with a union’s collective bargaining agreement typically must go through the union grievance process before an attorney is able to assist. During this process an employee will file a grievance with their union representative, who will contact management and perform an investigation, which informs a hearing and arbitration to determine whether the employer’s conduct was unlawful. Discrimination claims based on Title VII protected classes can be filed separately from union grievances with the New York City or New York State Division of Human Rights. As employment attorneys, we often recommend that employees undergo arbitration with their union first to determine whether their matter is considered unlawful under the collective bargaining agreement. Should you need to appeal this decision, make a discrimination claim, or confront an unresponsive union, then reaching out to an attorney is your next step.
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If you are experiencing issues with your union, reach out by scheduling a consultation in your area to talk about workplace discrimination. We provide videoconferencing consultations for individuals in New York and North Carolina. To get in touch, call our Charlotte office at 704.626.6648, Triangle office at 919.251.6008, or New York office at 212.662.6500. Additionally, you can schedule your consultation online on our website for New York or North Carolina.