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Labor law is a division or sub-category of the broader employment law. Labor attorneys can represent both employees and employers. They represent union workers and those who hire them. Employment laws may differ from state to state. So, it is important to hire a local attorney, which you can find via simple online searches. Use keywords with your location such as labor attorneys Los Angeles or something similar.
Here’s more on when you need to consult a labor attorney.
Union members may need a labor attorney for the following:
Wrongful termination –
If you are a union member who has been fired unlawfully, you can take legal action against your employer. You will need to consult with a labor attorney as they are the experts in the case of labor laws. Your attorney will advise you on the next steps to take in order to deal with the issue. Labor laws are different than the typical employment laws.
Unions are governed by different sets of laws. They also operate on different regulations. Unions also have their own set of rules for all members. So, hiring any employment lawyer will not do. You will need to hire a labor attorney experienced with handling the cases for union members.
If unions decide to negotiate terms of peace with the employer during an ongoing strike then there is the need for them to hire a labor attorney. Unions may even want to negotiate some terms for pay or working conditions before they go on strike.
A labor attorney can greatly help in this regard by guiding the members or the union leader properly. The attorney can even represent the union members and negotiate with the employer on their behalf.
A union member or the entire union may want to file a lawsuit against the employer. Filing a lawsuit is not possible without an attorney. As a union member or leader, you will require proper information to take the right steps. Any misstep can derail your case and even put the employment of every union member in jeopardy.
Employers who hire union members may need a labor attorney for the following:
Help with firing an employee –
It is not easy to fire a union member. The entire union can get riled up and go on a strike. So, it is best to let a labor attorney help you with such issues. Your attorney can guide you on how to go about it as per the law.
The employer is in his or her right to fire a union member for unsatisfactory performance or disciplinary issues. But employers still need to tread lightly when it comes to unions. Assistance from an attorney can help you deal with the wrongful termination issue in a proper legal manner.
Deal with union strikes –
Union strikes can derail a company’s work in such a way that it can lead to huge losses. Employers can consult with a labor attorney and prevent strikes from occurring in the first place. With the right negotiation skills, an experienced labor attorney can greatly help to diffuse the situation.
In case the situation escalates to a strike, an expert labor attorney can provide counsel for negotiations and even talk it out with union members. Strikes can also take a violent turn. So, negotiations require skills and knowledge of the law. If you are dealing with similar situations then consult with a labor attorney.
Handle lawsuits –
Employers who hire union members have to often deal with lawsuits. Union members can file charges or threaten to sue due to unsatisfactory working conditions, low wages, or unlawful overtime. If you fired an employee (even if it wasn’t unlawful) then the union member may threaten you with a lawsuit. Even if you are right, you will need to deal with it.
Employers think they are in the right when it comes to wages, working conditions, and treatment of union members. But the latter may think otherwise. Irrespective of who may be right in such situations, you will need to deal with it. If you are an employer dealing with a lawsuit, consulting with a labor attorney may be helpful for you.