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My employer of ten years has denied me numerous positions after I stated that I would contact the labor union

Soledad, CA |

In the last five years the school district has retaliated against me because of what I stated above. I never had been written up before but when my steward told the district that my evaluation was invalid due to the handbooks time limit. The district omitted a negative evaluation in my file any way. Soon after this I was granted a summer job but then it was denied due to funds. I then learned two others were hired and took my place instead. My attendance is the only real concern they can show proof for. Many rights have been violated within the past years and ive been a hostile dept and all my issues are ignored . My seniority is overlooked and every time I contact my union im lied to and told to suck it up. This is causing alot of distress and im confused with what to do next.

Basically what I am trying to say is if this has been going on for so long and my issues have not been taken serious what am I suppose to do? I cant look elsewhere for work because ten years has been invested here. I forgot to mention that my part time job consists of two different positions that are two different unions but only one if them is paid dues and they dont help. I now know why people go to there depts and shoot others. Im not a person whod consider this action but I understand why now. Please help

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Attorney answers 2


Avvo isn't really designed for the sort of fact-specific advice you are seeking. I would recommend scheduling a consultation with a local attorney. For a minimal fee, this will give you a solid understanding of your rights and potential remedies under the circumstances. Good luck.

This answer is a general interpretation of the law and is not fact specific to your case. Likewise it does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for a review of your specific facts and documents.


I'm sorry this is happening to you. Most unions try to do the right thing and obtain justice. Sometimes “justice” does not help an individual employee. One reason is that unions have their primary obligation to the entire group of job classifications the union represents; that group is called the “bargaining unit.” Unions have the right to decide whether to pursue a case or not.

Most local unions have limited money and staff resources so they must pick and choose which cases to pursue. Unions have to balance the need for more money (to hire more union reps or to take more cases to arbitration, for example) with the bargaining unit’s resistance to higher dues. This is similar to elected officials who must always balance constituents’ wishes with the need to raise taxes.

Some union reps are highly effective; others are incompetent, just as some attorneys and politicians are incompetent. Many local labor unions are run by volunteers. Many union representatives are full-time employees of the employer so do much of their union work on their own time, especially evenings and weekends. Only some unions have enough money to reimburse their reps for missed work hours, such as when handling a grievance. Only some unions have the strength to negotiate “lost time” with the employer, where the employer has to pay the rep’s wages when the rep is handling grievances; this time is usually limited to a low number of hours.

Nearly all elected and appointed union officers start out as rank-and-file workers. They may be elected due to work competence, seniority, intelligence, charm, good looks, having a big mouth, blustering, oratory skills, etc. – just like politicians. There is a range of skills and a range of experience among them. Most unions provide some training for officers and stewards, but others don’t have the resources to do so. The quantity and quality of training can vary widely.

If the workplace problem is based on a statute, such as any of the laws prohibiting on-the-job discrimination or protecting whistleblowers then a private attorney may be able to help. If the workplace problem is due to the employer’s dissatisfaction with work or conduct, the remedy is probably limited to going through the union.

Finally, one thing to consider is that even with faults, unions are the only thing standing between any worker and the employer’s ability to do whatever it wants. Without unions, there is no organized opposition to corporate efforts to take away workers’ rights. It is no coincidence that as union membership has declined, so have on-the-job benefits such as health insurance and pensions.

All your life, you’ve heard “there is strength in numbers.” You hear it because it is true. The best way to make a union stronger and better-able to help all workers is to participate in its work. Read the collective bargaining agreement (contract). Attend union meetings, ask questions and think about what is happening at the workplace. Help your union help you.

@MikaSpencer * * * PLEASE READ: 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 must not be taken as legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts which are impossible to gather on a public web site like Avvo. * * * No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. * * *

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