Union Employees

If a group of employees votes to be represented by a union, it usually has a significant effect on the workplace and the employer-employee relationship.  For example:

  • The employment relationship ceases to be “at will,” and employees may only be terminated for “just cause.”
  • The employer is prohibited by law from dealing directly with union employees about wages, hours, and working conditions and must deal directly with the union instead.
  • Employees tend to go to their union rather than their employer when they have a problem.
  • The relationship between the employer and the employees tends to become more adversarial rather than cooperative or collaborative.
  • The employer is required to expend additional time, money, and resources to deal with the union, particularly in the area of collective bargaining and grievance processing.
  • Supervisory employees are required to become familiar with the collective bargaining agreement and administer it on a consistent basis. Flexibility is reduced and the rules become more rigid regarding employee conduct.

About Michael Miller

Michael is a Chambers-rated attorney in Briggs and Morgan's Employment, Benefits, and Labor group and is head of the firm’s Employment Law Counseling and Compliance practice group. He has 25 years experience counseling employers to prevent unwanted litigation and advises companies of ongoing changes in federal, state and local employment law. Michael advises employers in all areas of employment law including discipline and discharge, leaves of absence, wage and hour compliance, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, affirmative action plans, background checking, and drug/alcohol testing. For Michael's full bio, click here.

Posted on May 16, 2011, in Employment At Will, Unions and Labor Law and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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