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Union members who lose seniority must sue fast

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in Employment Law,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Employees who work in a union setting often cannot take temporary assignments into management without losing the benefits of their union membership. One such benefit is often seniority. Employees must sue right away if they lose seniority.

Recent case: Rupert Alleyne, who is black, worked as a service clerk with American Airlines and was a member of the Transport Workers’ Union of America. The collective-bargaining agreement included a clause terminating seniority if an employee worked more than 320 hours in management.

Alleyne did work as a temporary manager and hit the hourly limit. He lost seniority. Two years later, he lost his job during a layoff. He sued, alleging that white and Hispanic employees did not lose their seniority.

But the court said he waited too long—he should have filed an EEOC complaint within 300 days. (Alleyne v. American Airlines, et al., No. 07-1386, 2nd Cir., 2008)

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