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Expect union reps to aggressively push grievances

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Is your workforce unionized? Then expect union reps to push grievances aggressively, especially if they involve possible racial issues. That’s because more employees are suing unions over timid representation.

Recent case: Don Wesley, who is black, was fired from his union job after video surveillance caught him viewing pornography while on a break. After losing a grievance the union filed on his behalf, Wesley sued the union for race discrimination. He argued that his union rep should have more aggressively pushed the race discrimination angle.

Wesley lost because the rep showed that he had argued that Wesley was treated more harshly than white employees caught watching porn. (Wesley v. General Drivers, Warehousemen and Helpers Local, et al., No. 11-10120, 5th Cir., 2011)

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