Being a union-free workplace has many advantages, but there are also some built-in benefits to operating under a collective bargaining agreement. For one, such contracts typically require all rank-and-file employees to take their complaints to arbitration rather than filing a federal lawsuit.
Recent case: Steven Jensen worked at Calumet Carton Company. He complained that a co-worker began to harass him by showing him photos of nudes, making lewd comments and touching him. He filed a federal sexual harassment lawsuit.
The company successfully got the case moved to arbitration because the union contract stipulated that all employment disputes had to be arbitrated under the terms of the agreement. (Jensen v. Calumet Carton Company, No. 11-C-2785, ND IL, 2011)
Final note: Get expert legal help when negotiating any union contract.
- What will you decide: keep or drop employee health benefits?
- Court: Punishment for helping outsider file harassment complaint isn't retaliation
- Track discipline to ensure equal treatment for equal offenses, regardless of protected class
- Age difference of six years or less destroys employee's age-bias claim.
- Simple hearsay about harassment doesn't create hostile environment