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.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- During lawsuit proceedings, Don't inquire about employees' immigration status
- After bias complaint, beware future discipline
- Require HR review of disciplinary records before discharge
- Repeat after me: Never fire anyone for wearing a religious headscarf!