Famighetti & Weinick PLLC are Long Island labor lawyers representing employees and union members in employment disputes. Labor law is often confused with employment law. Traditional labor law relates to union matters. Employment law, however, is broader and concerns a wider array of workplace issues such as discrimination and retaliation.
If you are a member of union, you may need a Long Island labor lawyer on your side. Union workplaces are different than other workplaces. Unions negotiate working terms and conditions with employers on behalf of a group of employees, which is called collective bargaining. A union may negotiate pay and pay scales, work hours, benefits including pensions and health care, and the terms by which an employee may be terminated. These terms and conditions are set forth in a contract called a collective bargaining agreement or CBA for short.
Workers without a union must generally negotiate pay and benefits on an individual basis and they can be terminated for any or no reason. Most workers have little leverage and so they will be subject to company-wide policies about leave time and benefits. This is the reason unions are powerful tool for workers who have little individual leverage in negotiating terms of employment.
While unions provide many benefits to workers, like most everything in life, problems can arise with unions on Long Island. When disputes arise between a union and a union worker, the worker may need a Long Island labor lawyer to become involved.
What types of problems can a Long Island labor attorney assist workers with? Most frequently, troubles arise between a union and member when a union will not take action on a matter which the worker believes the union should act on. For example, under a union contract or a CBA, workers are often entitled to disciplinary procedures before termination. A CBA may require progressive discipline or it may allow a worker to file a grievance to challenge disciplinary action or a termination. Unions usually have discretion to determine whether to file a grievance. If a union refuses, a Long Island labor attorney can review the case to determine whether the union has breached its duty of fair representation to the union member.
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is the federal law which regulates unions. The NLRA created the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) which is the federal agency responsible for unions. The NLRB can hear disputes between a union and an employer, between an employee and a union, or between all three. An experienced Long Island labor lawyer can help workers file an NLRB charge which commences the process of charging a union with improper practice, such as breaching the duty of fair representation.
The NLRA, however, does not regulate unions in the public sector in New York. In New York, the Taylor Law regulates public sector unions. Public sector unions include unions formed for government workers, such as civil service workers, police officers, fire fighters, sanitation workers, teachers, library employees, and others. The Taylor Law established the Public Employment Relations Board, also called PERB. PERB is the equivalent of the NLRB and hears disputes between unions, employers, and workers which relate to the CBA. Labor law can be confusing. Union members who have questions about their workplace rights should speak to an experienced Long Island labor lawyer. Union members who are concerned that their union is not acting on their behalf or that their employer is violating the union contract, should also speak to a knowledgeable labor attorney. Our lawyers at Famighetti & Weinick PLLC are available by phone, email, and in-person, to discuss your labor law concerns.