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How is wrongful termination handled for union workers?

Wrongful termination is something with which no worker wants to deal. Many jobs can end without any notice or reason; however, there are cases in which the loss of a job can be classified as wrongful termination. When it comes to union workers, there are special considerations that must be taken into account when the worker is being terminated.

How is termination different for union workers?

Union workers are covered under a written contract between the union and the management of the company. This collective bargaining agreement sets forth a variety of conditions regarding employment. This includes a clause that employees can only be terminated for a cause. Employees who aren't union workers generally can be terminated without reason as long as the termination wasn't discriminatory.

How is a wrongful termination case settled for union workers?

Generally, the worker has to file a grievance that meets the procedures required by the collective bargaining agreement. This can include arbitration. In most cases, the decision of the arbitration is binding. In some circumstances, a court might overturn the arbitration decision, but this only occurs if certain conditions are met.

While union members have an extra layer of protection for termination, no employee should have to deal with wrongful termination. It is illegal for employers to fire employees for discriminatory reasons. If you have been fired for a discriminatory reason, you have the right to pursue action regarding that wrongful termination. Knowing your rights, such as the right to get your final paycheck and the right to pursue legal remedies, can help you to decide how to handle your claim regarding the alleged wrongful termination.

Source: ALF-CIO, "Terminated or Laid Off the Job," accessed May. 01, 2015

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