These situations are so miserable, my condolences. The union is what stands between you and the things management is doing. The deal with employment under a collective bargaining agreement is that if bargaining unit members have a beef with what management does they look for their remedies to the grievance and arbitration provisions of the collective bargaining agreement, which generally spells out what must be done. The CBA will usually specify that the member may file a grievance within a certain time frame, often very short, and that if the grievance is denied it will go to another level, and if denied there may go to arbitration. Generally it's the union that has the power to invoke the higher levels of the grievance process, including arbitration. So read your CBA carefully and follow the procedures set forth in the CBA very exactly, especially with respect to the time within which a grievance must be filed. Often there's not much a private lawyer can do, unless the union is refusing to process a grievance for arbitrary or discriminatory reasons, or in bad faith. However, if the matters you grieve are not satisfactorily resolved, AND the union refuses to take it to arbitration, AND you have the right to take it there yourself, THEN a private lawyer may be of some assistance to you. In any event, consult labor-relations counsel in your state if you decide you would like to obtain competent legal advice on which you are entitled to rely.
This, of course, is not legal advice, as I don't practice law in Florida or hold Florida licensure. It's just my two cents. Consult Florida counsel to obtain legal advice. I practice in Vermont ONLY.
I completely agree with Mr. Taylor. I write to add that a private attorney can only help if your employer's actions violate a statute or regulation, such as any of the laws prohibiting on-the-job discrimination based on age or sex, or protecting whistleblowers . If the workplace problem is due to the employer’s dissatisfaction with your work or conduct, the remedy is probably limited to going through the union. Your are fortunate to be represented by a union because most people in this country are not, and would have absolutely no recourse for the things you are describing. Even better, your union is helping. Do whatever you can to help the union help you.
I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best.
twitter.com/MikaSpencer *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***
Typically, unions in Florida are of little help in getting your employer to keep you working if they're looking to get rid of you. You should seek a consultation with a lawyer specializing in representing only workers. It's worth paying a consultation fee to go over all the details of your employment to find out what rights you have. There could be a totally different reason for your employer wanting to get rid of you. For example, you may have a physical condition or medical condition which may worsen in the future and they are worried you'll request some accomodation or perhaps some condition that you could blame on your physical duties of the job thus giving you the right to file for workers compensation. Many times the stated reason is NOT the real reason so it helps to have a lawyer go over your entire history of employment and medical history.